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November 28, 2013

Know your Opponent: UCF

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Team:University of Central Florida

Nickname: Knights

School colors: Black and Gold

Location: Orlando, Florida

2012 Record: 10-3 (7-1) C-USA

2013 Record: 9-1 (6-0) AAC

Head Coach: George O'Leary, 10th season

Stadium/TV: Bright House Networks Stadium, 8 PM, ESPN 2

The Bulls, 2-8 (2-4), come limping into this game against the American Athletic Conference leading UCF Knights who are 9-1 (6-0) on the year. The Bulls are 4-0 all time against the Knights, but these teams are headed in two different directions. As the Bulls limp to the finish line just hoping to build a foundation for the future, the Knights are looking to win the AAC and make it to a BCS bowl game. The Bulls stand in their path and on a Friday, will be energized for the game.

The Offense

The offense for UCF all starts with redshirt junior Blake Bortles (6-foot-4, 230 lbs.). Bortles - one of the better quarterbacks in the country - has completed 198 passes out of 290 attempts (68%) for 2819 yards including 20 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He has also carried it 63 times for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns, showing he can move in the pocket and get positive yards when needed. He is a very accurate quarterback that can pick apart a secondary.

Running backs
At running back, UCF has Miami transfer redshirt junior Storm Johnson. Johnson (6-foot. 215 lbs.) has carried it 172 times for 916 yards and 11 touchdowns, showing both power and speed. He also has 24 catches for 220 yards and 3 touchdown. Freshman William Stanback (5-foot-10, 205 lbs.) has carried it 73 times for 347 yards and 6 touchdowns, adding another speed threat next to the powerful Johnson. He has also caught 5 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown, adding another player in the backfield that can get out and cause issues in the passing game.

The Knights typically run formations with 4 wide receivers, spreading the field. Rannell Hall (6-foot-1. 196 lbs.) leads the way with 45 receptions for 681 yards and 3 touchdowns. Redshirt junior J.J. Worton (6-foot-2, 211 lbs.) has 36 receptions for 617 yards and 7 touchdowns. Sophomore Breshad Perriman (6-foot-2, 209 lbs.) has 32 receptions for 666 yards and 2 touchdowns. Former quarterback senior Jeff Godfrey (5-foot-11, 190 lbs.) has 33 receptions for 284 yards and 4 touchdowns to round out a very strong receiving corps that spreads the receptions out and all can gash the defense no matter where they are on the field.

The Defense

Defensive line
The defensive line has not had a lot of big numbers this year for the Knights, relying more on the secondary to make the tackles. Sophomore defensive tackle Demetris Anderson (6-foot-2, 304 lbs.) has 19 tackles including 7 TFL (1 sack). Senior defensive tackle E.J. Dunston (6-foot-2, 302 lbs.) has 32 tackles, including 5 TFL including 3 sacks on the year. Sophomore defensive end Thomas Niles (6-foot-2, 270 lbs.) has 19 tackles including 5 TFL (2 sacks). Mike White will have to make sure he is aware where they are all at at all times.

The linebackers are very active for the Knights. Junior Troy Gray (6-foot-1, 210 lbs.) has 51 tackles, 2.5 TFL (1 sack), and 2 interceptions from the outside linebacker position. Junior Terrance Plummer (6-foot-1, 234 lbs.) leads the way with 81 tackles with 7 TFL (2 sacks) and 2 interceptions on the year. Plummer is the leader and will be hard to block for the running game for the Bulls.

The secondary for the Knights is a very active group that makes a lot of tackles in space. Redshirt freshman cornerback Jacoby Glenn (6-foot- 176 lbs.) has 35 tackles, including 1 TFL and has 2 interceptions. Fellow corner, junior Jordan Ozerities (5-foot-10, 191 lbs.) has 45 tackles, 3 TFL including 1 sack on the year. Junior strong safety Clayton Geathers (6-foot-2, 207 lbs.) has 73 tackles including 4.5 TFL and 1 interception for the season. Junior free safety Brandon Alexander (6-foot-2, 191 lbs.) has 44 tackles including 3 tackles (1 sack) and has 1 interception on the year, anchoring a strong secondary for the Knights that will give White a lot of trouble this year/

Special teams
Junior Shawn Moffitt (5-foot-11-foot- 178 lbs.) who serves as the place kicker and punter, has hit 16 out of 17 field goals this season, including a long of 50 yards. He is very accurate and gives another weapon for the Knights.


While USF has never lost to Central Florida, it does not look like - barring a monumental upset - that streak will continue. The Knights have had their fair share of seasons like what USF is going through and have stayed the course with O'Leary. UCF has found ways to win games where USF has found creative ways to lose them. This time, however, it's a conference loss and with several recruits in attendance, the stakes for the game get raised even higher.



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