UCF hits the road for the first time this season, as the squad makes the 2,623-mile trip to Boise, Idaho. Saturday’s game against Boise State is set for 7 p.m. ET/5 p.m. MT at Albertsons Stadium on Fox Sports 1.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 9
Time: 7 p.m. ET/5 p.m. MT
TV: Fox Sports 1
Talents: Eric Collins, Devin Gardner
Radio: FM 96.9/AM 740 The Game
Spanish Radio: UCFKnights.com, YouTube.com/UCFKnights
Live Stats: click here
A UCF WIN WOULD...
• Mark the second for the program against Boise State in the second meeting between the programs.
• Give the Knights a win in their road opener for the second consecutive season.
• Give UCF its first win in the Mountain Time Zone since the 2013 Fiesta Bowl, where the Knights defeated No. 6/5 Baylor 52-42 in Glendale, Arizona.
• Give Gus Malzahn his 97th career win as a head coach, three shy of reaching 100 career victories.
• Be better than a loss
|Overall||UCF leads, 1-0|
|in Boise||First Meeting|
|in Orlando||UCF leads, 1-0|
|Last Meeting||W, 36-31 (9/2/21)|
|Streak||UCF won 1|
• After a full decade as a member of the American Athletic Conference, UCF debuted as a member of the Big 12 Conference last Thursday night with a dominant 56-6 victory against Kent State in the 2023 season opener at FBC Mortgage Stadium.
• UCF rushed for 389 yards on 46 carries to set the program record for yards per rush with 8.5, while the Knights completed 25 passes for 334 yards. It marked the second consecutive season the Black and Gold have surpassed 700 total yards in a single game, as the 723 total yards are the second most by a team during the 2023 season behind Oregon’s 729 yards against Portland State.
• The Knights’ 389 rushing yards are the most by any team this season and the most for the program since Nov. 23, 2018, when UCF rushed for 391 yards on 58 attempts in a 38-10 road win at South Florida. UCF tallied 13 runs of at least 10 yards against Kent State with quarterback John Rhys Plumlee accounting for four and running back RJ Harvey tallying three, including the longest rush of the game which went for 48 yards and a touchdown.
• UCF, California and Oregon are the nation’s only three teams that have passed for more than 300 yards and rushed for more than 300 in the same game.
• On the other side of the football, the Knights defense limited the Golden Flashes to just six points for the game and kept Kent State out of the endzone. It was the first time since Aug. 29, 2019, that UCF held its opponent without a touchdown.
• UCF ranks eighth nationally in scoring offense (56.0) and 12th in scoring defense (6.0).
• UCF’s John Rhys Plumlee owns the second-most rushing yards by an active FBS quarterback with 2,141, behind LSU’s Jayden Daniels with 2,212. Plumlee’s total ranks 15th in the NCAA among active players and his 24 rushing touchdowns are tied for the fourth most by an active quarterback and tied for 10th among any active player. Both marks lead all players in the Big 12 Conference.
Playing its first game as a member of the Big 12 Conference, UCF football put together a stellar debut last Thursday night as the Knights defeated Kent State in dominant fashion 56-6 in front of a packed FBC Mortgage Stadium.
UCF rushed for 389 yards on 46 carries to set the program record for yards per rush with 8.5, breaking the previous record of 8.3 set against Samford on Nov. 15, 1986.
UCF rushed for 389 yards and passed for 334 yards in the season opener against Kent State, marking the first time the Knights have rushed and passed for 300 or more yards in the same game since a 62-0 victory against Florida A&M on Aug. 29, 2019.
The Knights had 13 running plays eclipse 10 or more yards with quarterback John Rhys Plumlee accounting for four and running back RJ Harvey tallying three. Harvey recorded the longest rush of the day with a 48-yard touchdown run.
UCF had five runs for more than 20 yards against the Golden Flashes.
In his first game as UCF offensive coordinator, Darin Hinshaw’s offense was firing on all cylinders as the Knights racked up 723 total yards. That mark is the second most by a team this season, behind Oregon’s 729 total yards against Portland State.
It marks the second consecutive season the Black and Gold have surpassed 700 total yards in a single game, as UCF compiled 737 yards in last season’s 70-13 win against Temple.
UCF’s defense held Kent State to just six points in last Thursday’s game, the fewest allowed since Aug. 29, 2019, against Florida A&M. The victory marked the fewest points allowed during the Gus Malzahn era at UCF (previous was seven: Oct. 22, 2021 vs. Memphis and Oct. 30, 2021 versus Temple).
It also marked the first time under Malzahn that the Knights defense held their opponent from scoring a touchdown. The UCF defense held Kent State to just one red zone attempt, 94 rushing yards and 145 yards passing.
First-year defensive coordinator Addison Williams kept the Kent State offense off balance throughout the night, as the Golden Flashes only had three drives result in more than 40 yards.
Transfer DeJordan Mask recorded the Knights’ first turnover of the 2023 season, as the fifth year undercut a deep pass down the sideline and made a great leaping grab for his fifth career interception.
STRONG SEASON DEBUTS
In his first career start, defensive tackle Lee Hunter recorded one of the best games of his career as he led the Knights with eight tackles, including five solo stops, a sack and a tackle for loss. The Mobile, Alabama, native also notched a quarterback hurry.
Similarly, senior defensive end and captain Josh Celiscar put together one of his best performances with a career-high seven tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.
PLUMLEE AMONG NCAA ACTIVE LEADERS
UCF quarterback John Rhys Plumlee owns the second-most rushing yards by an active FBS quarterback with 2,141, behind LSU’s Jayden Daniels with 2,212. Plumlee’s total ranks 15th in the NCAA among active players and his 24 rushing touchdowns are tied for the fourth most by an active quarterback and tied for 10th among any active player. Both marks lead all players in the Big 12 Conference.
The Hattiesburg, Mississippi, native’s 6.0 career rushing yards per attempt is the second best among active NCAA players behind Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen with 6.1.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Five Knights recorded a rushing touchdown in last Thursday’s season-opening win (John Rhys Plumlee, RJ Harvey, Demarkcus Bowman, Jordan McDonald, and Mark-Antony Richards). It marked the first time five Knights rushed for touchdowns since Sept. 7, 2019, at FAU (Greg McCrae, Bentavious Thompson, Otis Anderson, Adrian Killins, and Dillon Gabriel).
Ten different UCF players caught a pass in the Kent State game and 13 different players were targeted in the passing game. Xavier Townsend’s 81 receiving yards led the Knights, the first performance in his career leading the Knights receiving core. His first quarter receiving touchdown was the first of his career and his 81 receiving yards bested his previous personal best (53 yards) at Florida Atlantic on Sept. 17, 2022.
PERFECT IN HOME SEASON OPENERS
Head coach Gus Malzahn remains perfect in home openers as a head coach at 12-0 following UCF’s 56-6 victory against Kent State last Thursday.