Game Notes: UCF Hosts Georgia Tech on Saturday

Game Notes | Depth Chart

Following a successful first road trip of the season, UCF returns to FBC Mortgage Stadium for the third time in the first four weeks to host Georgia Tech on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. and the game will air live on ESPNU. 

Date: Saturday, Sept. 24
Time: 4 p.m.
Radio: FM 96.9/AM 740 The Game
Spanish Radio:
Live Stats: click here

• Total 186 FBS wins for UCF in program history
• Be UCF's second win over the GT in the all-time series
• Give the Knights their second home win of the season
• Give Head Coach Gus Malzahn his first win over GT in his first meeting against the program
• Be better than a loss


OverallGT leads, 3-1
in OrlandoFirst Meeting
Last MeetingW, 49-21 (9/19/20)
StreakUCF won 1

• Following the first three games of the season, UCF is the only FBS team to surpass 600 yards of total offense in more than one game this season. The Knights recorded a season-high 653 yards in the road win at Florida Atlantic and also tallied 605 yards in the season opener against South Carolina State. 

• UCF's 653 yards of total offense against Florida Atlantic are the fifth most by an FBS team in a single game this season.

• Quarterback John Rhys Plumlee's 460 total offensive yards in the win over the Owls are the second most by a player this season and just three yards shy of tying for the national lead. The senior passed for 339 yards and rushed for 121, as he was responsible for three touchdowns. Plumlee was tabbed American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week and named to the Davey O'Brien Great 8 List on Monday following his performance. 

• UCF is averaging 273.0 rushing yards per game, which ranks fourth nationally and leads the AAC. Fifth-year running back Isaiah Bowser is seventh in the nation with five rushing touchdowns to lead the conference. Dating back to the bowl game last year, Bowser has at least one rushing touchdown in each of his last four games, scoring seven total during that span.

• UCF's defense has allowed just 121.7 passing yards per game to rank No. 7 among FBS teams. The Knights are 10th nationally in team passing efficiency defense, which measures the opponent's pass completion percentage, number of interceptions, interception percentage and opponent's total yards passing, at 85.51.

Georgia Tech is in its fourth season under head coach Geoff Collins, who spent the 2008-09 seasons as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at UCF under head coach George O'Leary. The Yellow Jackets are off to a 1-2 start to the season, including an 0-1 mark in ACC play. In its last outing, Georgia Tech dropped a 42-0 decision at home against No. 20 Ole Miss.

Georgia Tech ranks among the top 10 nationally in tackles for loss with 9.0 to lead the ACC at No. 7 in the country. Linebacker Ayinde Eley is second in the conference with 32 tackles, including five tackles for loss to lead the ACC. Additionally, he has forced a pair of fumbles.

Saturday's game will be the fifth meeting between the programs, but the first in Orlando as each of the previous meetings have been held in Atlanta. Georgia Tech leads the all-time series, 3-1, with all three of the Yellow Jackets' wins coming with George O'Leary as head coach. O'Leary coached Georgia Tech for eight seasons from 1994-2001 and then coached at UCF for 12 seasons from 2004-2015. O'Leary will do the ceremonial coin toss prior to Saturday night's game.

UCF won the last meeting between the programs, as the Knights compiled 660 yards of total offense en route to a 49-21 victory. The Knights scored 21 points in the second quarter to pull away and earn the win.

Following a stellar performance in Saturday's 40-14 win at Florida Atlantic, UCF quarterback John Rhys Plumlee has been named American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week, the conference announced on Monday.

Plumlee helped lead the Knights to a bounce back win in Boca Raton, as he threw for a career-high 339 yards and completed a career-best 25 passes. He completed nearly 70% of his passes and threw for a touchdown. He gashed the Owls defense with 20 rushing attempts for 121 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

The Hattiesburg, Mississippi, native's 460 total offensive yards in the win over the Owls are the second most by a player in a single game this season and just three yards shy of tying for the national lead. 

With Plumlee leading the charge, UCF rushed for 314 yards and passed for 339 yards to surpass 600 yards of total offense for the second time this season. 

UCF is the only FBS team to compile 600 or more yards of total offense in two games this season.

Plumlee is the first UCF player to earn AAC Offensive Player of the Week honors since Dillon Gabriel earned the accolade on Oct. 19, 2020.

In addition to earning the AAC honors, Plumlee is one of eight players named to the Davey O'Brien Great 8 List, which recognizes the National Quarterback of the Week.

Stetson Bennett, Georgia 
Doug Brumfield, UNLV 
Jalon Daniels, Kansas 
Bo Nix, Oregon 
Michael Penix Jr., Washington 
John Rhys Plumlee, UCF 
Chris Reynolds, Charlotte 
C.J. Stroud, Ohio State 

After allowing 14 points in the first quarter at Florida Atlantic, the UCF defense dominated for the remainder of the game and held the Owls scoreless for the final three quarters. The Knights held FAU to zero yards of offense in the third quarter and just 18 yards in the fourth quarter.

UCF is the only FBS team to compile 600 or more yards of total offense in two games this season. The Knights recorded a season-high 653 yards in the road win at Florida Atlantic and also tallied 605 yards in the season opener against South Carolina State.

UCF has played three games this season on three different days of the week. The Knights opened the season against South Carolina State on a Thursday, played Louisville on a Friday and then Florida Atlantic last Saturday.

UCF blocked a field goal attempt for the first time this season in the win at Florida Atlantic on Saturday, Sept. 17. Following a stellar goal line stop from the defense, redshirt junior defensive tackle Keenan Hester got a a great push and leaped into the air to get his hand on a 19-yard field goal attempt from the Owls.

It was UCF's first field goal since Sept. 19, 2020, at Georgia Tech when Noah Hancock blocked a field goal in the second quarter.

It was the second big play on special teams for the Knights this season, after Quadric Bullard blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown in the season opener against South Carolina State.

Junior running back Johnny Richardson heads into Saturday's game just 17 yards shy of 1,000 career rushing yards. Richardson tallied 65 yards as a freshman, 733 last season and has recorded 185 yards this season.

Richardson broke off a 50-yard rush in the win against Florida Atlantic, which is the longest of his career.

Alec Holler turned in a career day against Florida Atlantic, as the tight end reeled in three catches for a career-high 115 yards. Holler nearly doubled his career receiving yards in the contest, as he entered the game with 192 yards.

Holler caught a 64-yard pass from John Rhys Plumlee in the second quarter, which is a career long and also the longest passing play of the season for UCF.

The UCF-Louisville game on Sept. 9 was the most viewed ESPN2 Friday game since 2013 with more than 1.8 million viewers. The mark is also the most watched regular season game on ESPN2 since 2017.

UCF's all-time record of 74-23 (.763) at FBC Mortgage Stadium ranks in the top 15 in the nation for best win percentage in a current home stadium.

Since 2017, the Knights are 31-3 in home games at FBC Mortgage Stadium.

The Knights finished last season undefeated at home, marking the seventh time in UCF's FBS era, the ninth overall, and the fourth time in the last five years.

Only 22 teams in the nation completed the 2021 regular season undefeated at home.

UCF at Home
2017 (7-0)

W—Florida International (8-31-17)
W—East Carolina
W—Austin Peay
W—#22 South Florida
W—#16 Memphis (AAC Championship)

2018 (8-0)
W—South Carolina State
W—Florida Atlantic
W—#19 Cincinnati
W—Memphis (AAC Championship)

2019 (6-0)
W—Florida A&M
W—East Carolina
W—South Florida

2020 (2-2)
L—Tulsa (34-26, 10-3-20, ended 21-game home win streak)
L--#7 Cincinnati (36-33, 11-21-20)

2021 (7-0)
W—Boise State
W—East Carolina
W—South Florida

2022 (1-1)
W—South Carolina State
L—Louisville, 20-14, 9-9-22, ended eight-game home win streak)