Game Notes: UCF vs. Florida A&M

The UCF football team opens the 2019 season on Thursday, Aug. 29, hosting Florida A&M at Spectrum Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. with coverage on CBS Sports Network and FM 96.9 The Game.

Date: Thursday, Aug. 29
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: CBS Sports Network
Radio: FM 96.9/AM 740 The Game
Live Stats: https://ucfknights.co/2L9dAhZ 


• The UCF football team returns to action after suffering its first loss in 745 days to end the 2018 campaign, which snapped a nation-leading 25-game winning streak. The win streak was a UCF and American Athletic Conference record, marked the 22nd longest in FBS history, and was the fourth longest since 2000 (Miami, 34 - 2000-03; Florida State, 29 - 2012-14; Alabama, 26 - 2015-16).

• UCF won its second straight American Athletic Conference Championship in 2018, giving the Knights six conference championships since first joining a conference in 2002 and four conference titles since 2013, one of just four programs in FBS to achieve the feat (Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma).

• UCF is in its second season under head coach Josh Heupel, who led the Knights to a 12-1 record in his first season in Orlando. Heupel was named FWAA First-Year Coach of the Year after becoming just the third FBS coach in history to record an undefeated regular season in his first year as a head coach (Larry Coker - Miami, 2001; Chris Peterson - Boise State, 2006).

• UCF played in the 2019 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl last season. The Knights’ men’s and women’s basketball teams both played in the NCAA Tournament last season. UCF and Michigan were the only schools in the nation in 2018-19 to have their football team in a New Year’s Six Bowl and both basketball teams in the NCAA Tournament.

• For the last two full seasons, every sport that plays a head-to-head schedule at UCF has finished with a winning record. The Knights are the only FBS athletics program in the nation to do this in 2017-18 and 2018-19. CBS Sports ranked UCF as the 17th best athletics department in the nation for the past year and Director of Athletics Danny White was named the NACDA AD of the Year this past summer.


Overall:FAMU, 1-0
in Tallahassee:FAMU, 1-0
in Orlando:n/a
at Neutral Location:n/a
Streak:FAMU, W1
Last Meeting:FAMU 19, UCF 14 - Nov. 14, 1987
Last UCF Win:n/a

• Florida A&M went 6-5 in 2018 in its first season under head coach Willie Simmons. The Rattlers started out 6-2, before falling in their final three games, including a 33-19 loss to Bethune-Cookman in the Florida Classic.

• The Rattlers return their top two rushers and their quarterback from a season ago. Deshawn Smith and Bishop Bonnett combined for over 1,000 yards rushing, while Ryan Stanley threw for 2,519 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2018.

• Elijah Richardson, the team’s top tackler from last season, also returns to lead the defense. Richardson had 75 tackles and 9.5 tackles-for-loss in 2018.

three new year's six bowls since 2013
• UCF played in its first BCS Bowl game in 2013, defeating Baylor in an upset in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, finishing the year ranked 10th in the AP Top 25.

• The Knights have now played in back-to-back New Year’s Six bowls, defeating Auburn in the 2018 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl to secure an undefeated national championship season in 2017, and then playing LSU in the 2019 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl last year.

• UCF is one of just nine teams in all of FBS to have played in three BCS/New Year’s Six bowls since 2013, joining Florida State, Michigan State, Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Washington and Auburn.

pretty darn offensive
• UCF has been one of the best offensive teams in the country the last two years and has put up the points to prove it, scoring 30 or more points in 26 straight games, which is the longest streak in the AP Poll era (since 1936).

• The Knights have scored 40 or more points in 15 of their last 26 games and have reached the 50-point plateau nine times in the last 26 outings.

• UCF finished the 2018 season ranked sixth in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 43.2 points per game and fifth in the nation in total offense, averaging 522.7 yards per game.

grant is good
• Richie Grant returns for his junior season to lead the UCF defense from the safety position.

• A watch list candidate for the Bednarik Award, the Jim Thorpe Award, the Nagurski Trophy and the Walter Camp Award, Grant led the Knights with 109 tackles last season.

• Grant’s six interceptions in 2018 were the third most in a single season by a UCF player and ranked third in the nation.