Oct. 13, 2012
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By Brian Ormiston
|UCF vs. Southern Miss
Oct. 13, 2012
|From Bright House Networks Stadium
CLOSING THE BOOK
One thing on the mind of the UCF's seniors this week was not only aiming for a victory over another East Division opponent, but it was that they had never produced a victory over Southern Miss since arriving at UCF. That changed Saturday night.
This year's squad is built on a remarkably talented senior class, and one in particular closed the book on one of the most memorable finishes in school history. Ahead 38-31 with Southern Miss taking over needing a touchdown in the second overtime, senior Kemal Ishmael was in the perfect position to intercept Anthony Alford's pass, resulting in a massive dogpile of Knights.
That play was set up by an offensive line which dominated the overtime periods, giving senior Latavius Murray plenty of holes en route to a pair of rushing touchdowns. That offensive line was led by senior center Jordan Rae and senior left guard Theo Goins.
Also producing for the offense were seniors Quincy McDuffie (3 REC, 22 YDS, 2 RUSH, 18 YDS), Brendan Kelly (1 REC, 10 YDS, 2 Tackles) and Rob Calabrese (1 RUSH, 5 YDS, holder on field goals and extra points). McDuffie, meanwhile, broke the school record in kickoff return yards for his career as well.
Representing the seniors on defense along with Ishmael, linebacker Jonathan Davis led the Knights with nine tackles, while fellow classmate and outside linebacker Ray Shipman amassed six. Defensive end Troy Davis collected four and A.J. Bouye notched three.
Head coach George O'Leary always stresses that his team is only as good as his senior class. On Saturday, that senior class caused a celebration that UCF fans will not forget for a long time.
By: Brian Ormiston
-With the 38-31 win, UCF claimed its 100th victory as a member of the FBS (first joined in 1996).
-It was UCF's first overtime win in school history (1-6 overall).
-The Knights' record moved to 4-2 on the year and 2-0 in Conference USA. That was the same record they had six games into the 2010 season when they won the C-USA title and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
-It was UCF's first win over Southern Miss in Orlando, as its record vs. the Golden Eagles now stands at 2-6.
-USM won the toss and deferred. It was the 38th time in the last 45 games UCF received the opening kickoff.
-On that opening drive, the Knights went 93 yards on 15 plays and used up 7:35 on the clock, capped off by a Blake Bortles 1-yard touchdown run. It was the longest scoring drive in terms of yards and time since an 18-play, 94-yard drive that took 10:40 in the second quarter at FIU Sept. 17, 2011.
-UCF converted three fourth downs, which was the first time it had three fourth-down conversions in a game since Oct. 15, 2011, at SMU.
-The Knights had three scoring drives that lasted at least 10 plays. The last time that happened was against ECU Nov. 19, 2011.
-UCF was plus-2 in the turnover margin, as the winner of every game in the series has won the turnover battle.
-A total of 11 different players caught a pass, which was the second time that happened this season (Missouri). Before 2012, the last time 11 players had a reception was at Akron Oct. 26, 2002.
-UCF had a season-high 454 yards of total offense.
-Captains for UCF were: senior running back Latavius Murray and senior linebacker Jonathan Davis.
-Senior Quincy McDuffie broke the school record for kickoff return yards in a career with 66 yards on four attempts. That moved his career total to 2,146, allowing McDuffie to jump ahead of Ted Wilson who previously had the record at 2,121 yards from 1983-86.
-Senior safety Kemal Ishmael put the game away with an interception in the second overtime. It was his second interception of the season and the fifth of his career.
-Freshman Breshad Perriman had a career-long 26-yard catch Saturday. For the season he entered with four receptions for 44 yards. On Saturday, he had five catches for 55 yards.
-Senior H-back Brendan Kelly had his first catch of the season, a 10-yard reception for a first down in the first quarter.
-Sophomore Shawn Moffitt hit on a 29-yard field goal in the first half to start the year 8-for-8, but missed on a 42-yarder in the third quarter.
-Sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles rushed for a pair of 1-yard touchdowns in the first half. It was the first time he produced two rushing touchdowns in a game, as he now has four in his career.
-In the air, Bortles had a career-high 272 yards and finished 27-for-40.
-Sophomore cornerback Jordan Ozerities recorded his second-career interception in the third quarter.
-Sophomore wide receiver J.J. Worton pulled in eight catches for a career-high 117 yards.
-Sophomore running back Storm Johnson added a game-high and career-high 94 rushing yards on 18 carries, including a 32-yard touchdown run to put UCF ahead 24-14 in the fourth quarter.
-Murray galloped his way to 52 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns. Both TDs came in overtime, while 28 of his rushing yards were in the two extra periods as well. He now has 25 rushing touchdowns for his career, pushing him to fourth on the UCF all-time list past Daunte Culpepper who had 24 from 1995-98 (record is Kevin Smith with 45 from 2005-07).
-Davis finished with a team-high nine tackles with one for a loss. Ishmael had seven tackles, giving him 293 for his career which is one shy of ninth place on the UCF all-time list.