Game Notes: UCF Travels to East Carolina in First Conference Road Trip

Game Notes | Depth Chart

UCF moved to 5-1 on the year and 2-0 in American Athletic Conference play after defeating Temple 70-13 last Thursday night at FBC Mortgage Stadium. The Knights are now set for a trip to Greenville, North Carolina, to battle East Carolina in their first conference road game of the season on Saturday, Oct. 22. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and the game will air live on ESPNU. 

Date: Saturday, Oct. 22
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Radio: FM 96.9/AM 740 The Game
Spanish Radio:
Live Stats: click here

• Be UCF's 11th win over ECU in the all-time series and its seventh consecutive in the series
• Give the Knights their first AAC road win of the season and a 3-0 start to conference play this season
• Give Head Coach Gus Malzahn his second win over ECU in his second meeting against the program
• Be better than a loss


OverallSeries tied, 10-10
in OrlandoUCF leads, 5-4
in GreenvilleECU leads, 6-5
Last MeetingW, 20-16 (10/9/21)
StreakUCF won 6

• UCF's 70 points scored are the third most in program history and the third most by an FBS team this season. That total marks the most in a single game since 2017 when the Knights set the program record with 73 in a win against Austin Peay.

• The Knights' defense has been outstanding this season, as UCF is the only FBS team in the country that has not allowed an opponent to score more than 20 points in a game. Dating back to last season, UCF has held its opponents to 20 points or less in nine consecutive games. 

• UCF's 737 yards of total offense against Temple are the second most of any team in the country this season, behind Ohio State's 763 yards against Toledo. Following the first seven weeks of the season, UCF is the nation's only team to surpass 600 yards of total offense in three games this season. In addition to the season-high mark in the win over the Owls, the Knights recorded 653 yards in the road win at Florida Atlantic and tallied 605 yards in the season opener against South Carolina State. 

• The Knights' red zone defense ranks as the best in the country, as opponents have scored on just 52% of their trips to the red zone, converting on 11-of-21 attempts. The Knights have only allowed five touchdowns in the red zone in 21 trips for opponents.

• UCF's nine points allowed in the fourth quarter are the second fewest of any FBS team in the nation, behind Illinois which has only allowed seven points in the fourth quarter.

• UCF is one of only seven FBS teams to play five of their first six 2022 games in their home stadium. The Knights played South Carolina State and Louisville at home, went on the road to play FAU, followed by three straight home games versus Georgia Tech, SMU and Temple.

• UCF is averaging 261.2 rushing yards per game, which ranks fourth nationally and leads the AAC. Fifth-year running back Isaiah Bowser is ninth nationally with nine rushing touchdowns, which also leads the conference. Dating back to the bowl game last year, Bowser has at least one rushing touchdown in six of his last seven games, scoring 11 total during that span.

East Carolina is in its fourth season under head coach Mike Houston, who led the Pirates to a bowl game last year but it was canceled due to Covid-19 issues within their opponent, Boston College's program. The Pirates are 4-3 on the season, including a 2-2 mark in American Athletic Conference play. In its last outing, ECU played its longest game in program history with a four overtime victory over Memphis, 47-45.

East Carolina owns one of the best offenses in the country, as it leads the conference in total first downs with 168 and completion percentage (67.8%). Quarterback Holton Ahlers ranks ninth nationally and leads the league in passing yards with 2,124. He's also thrown 17 touchdowns to rank 10th and lead the conference.

Saturday's game will be the 21st all-time meeting between the programs, as the series is tied at 10-10 thanks to UCF winning the last six meetings. ECU leads the series 6-5 in Greenville, but the Knights have won the last four meetings at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. In UCF's last trip to North Carolina, the Knights earned a 51-28 victory.

UCF won last year's matchup 20-16 at FBC Mortgage Stadium behind 104 rushing yards from Johnny Richardson with a touchdown and 58 rushing yards from Mark-Antony Richards and a score. The Pirates led 13-10 heading into the fourth quarter, but the Knights scored 10 points in the final quarter to win by four.

With a 5-1 record on the season, UCF is receiving 13 votes in this week's Associated Press Top 25 Poll to sit three spots outside of the top 25 at No. 28. In the American Football Coaches Association Poll, the Knights are receiving 33 votes, just two spots shy of being ranked among the top 25.

UCF's 70 points scored in the win over Temple are the third most in program history and also the third most total points by an FBS team in a game this season. The Knights scored 73 points versus Austin Peay on Oct. 28, 2017, to set the program record and also tallied 71 points in a win over Gardner-Webb in 1992.

Ohio State's 77 points against Toledo are the most by an FBS team this season, while Utah and Western Kentucky have scored 73 points in a game this year.

UCF's 737 yards of total offense mark the first time the Knights have surpassed 700 total yards in a game since Memphis on Oct. 17, 2020. The 737 yards are the second-highest mark in the FBS this season, only behind Ohio State's 763 total yards against Toledo.

UCF is the only team in the nation that has not allowed more than 20 points in a game this season. Dating back to last year, the Knights have now gone nine consecutive games without an opponent scoring more than 20 points.This is the longest active streak among FBS teams and the longest streak in school history.

The Knights are the only FBS team in the country to lead their conference in scoring offense and scoring defense. UCF is averaging 41.3 points per game and allowing just 14.3 ppg.

Following one of the best performances in program history, UCF quarterback John Rhys Plumlee was named American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week, Davey O'Brien Great 8 List and a Manning Award Star of the Week on Monday.

Plumlee tied the program record with seven total touchdowns in last Thursday's 70-13 win over Temple with four passing and three rushing. The Hattiesburg, Mississippi, native tied the mark set by former UCF standouts Darin Slack in 1987 and Daunte Culpepper in 1998. His seven touchdowns are the most by any player in the American Athletic Conference this season.

He threw for a career-high 373 yards on 18-for-22 passing with four touchdowns and he rushed for 37 yards on seven attempts with three touchdowns. Plumlee ignited the scoring for UCF in the contest, scoring from nine yards out to cap a 10-play, 74-yard drive in the first quarter to give the Knights a 7-3 lead. Plumlee found the endzone for the second time on the day with a one-yard rush to help UCF regain the lead, 14-10. His third rushing touchdown with five seconds remaining in the first half pushed the Knights' lead to 22 heading into halftime.

Plumlee closed out his day by throwing a touchdown pass on each of his last three throws with an 11-yard strike to O'Keefe, 68-yard pass to O'Keefe and 64-yard touchdown to Hudson. In the third quarter, he was 5-for-5 and threw for 198 yards with three touchdowns.

Senior linebacker Jason Johnson heads into this week's game at East Carolina with 285 career tackles and would reach 300 with 15 in the game. He currently ranks 22nd among active FBS players and would become one of just 14 active players to reach 300 career tackles.

Johnson leads the team with 50 tackles this season, which also ranks sixth in the AAC.

The Knights defense has been outstanding this season, as UCF leads the nation in red zone defense. Opponents have scored on just 52% of their trips to the red zone, converting on 11-of-21 attempts. The Knights have only allowed four touchdowns in the red zone in 21 trips for opponents.

UCF has allowed just one touchdown in the fourth quarter this season, as the Knights are outscoring opponents, 66-9, in the quarter. UCF's nine points allowed in the quarter are the second fewest of any FBS team in the country.