Akron Tops UCF 38-24

AKRON, Ohio - Akron junior quarterback Charlie Frye totaled 384 yards of total offense including 307 through the air as the Zips downed UCF 38-24 Saturday evening at the Rubber Bowl in Akron, Ohio. The loss was UCF's fourth in five weeks, dropping the Golden Knights to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in conference play while Akron improved to 5-3 and 3-2 in the MAC.

For the first time this season, UCF scored first after the Golden Knights gained a 3-0 lead on a 19-yard Matt Prater field goal. The field goal also marked the first time in 2003 that UCF scored on its opening possession. The field goal was set up by a 62-yard kickoff return by Luther Huggins.

Akron responded with 21 straight points to take a 21-3 lead at halftime. Frye finished the first half 15-of-17 passing for 185 yards and a touchdown. The Zips twice drove 80 yards for touchdowns, including after a Ryan Schneider interception in the Akron end zone.

Frye made the play of the half with under a minute remaining in the half when he found Mike Brake on a 16-yard screen pass. Frye looked to be sacked on the play by Josh Stephens, but found a way to get out of the UCF defender's grasp for the big play. Bobby Hendry scored on the following play from one-yard out to give the Zips a 21-3 lead with 37 seconds left in the half.

UCF opened the third quarter with a defensive stand and a snap over Akron punter Billy Sullivan's head, which gave UCF the ball at the Akron four. From there, Schneider found Tavaris Capers on a three-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 21-10. The touchdown pass extended Schneider's school record of 26 straight games with a touchdown pass.

UCF looked to get the ball back again on Akron's next possession, but Frye ripped off a 25-yard run on a 3rd down and seven play at the Akron 37-yard line. At the end of the 25-yard run, UCF committed a late-hit personal foul, giving the Zips a first down at the UCF 23 yard line. Frye scored just four plays later on a four-yard touchdown run to give Akron a 28-10 advantage.

The Golden Knights came back with their second touchdown of the third quarter on a quick four-play, 56-yard scoring drive that took just 34 seconds. Dontavius Wilcox scored his second career touchdown with a six-yard run up the middle to slice the Akron lead to 28-17. Schneider had two big pass plays on the drive, including a 24-yard pass to Mike Walker and a 26-yard screen to Capers.

Akron scored on another long drive, this time covering 68 yards in eight plays to extend the lead to 35-17. Bobby Hendry capped off the scoring drive with a two-yard touchdown run – his second of the game – to put the Zips up 18 with just over seven minutes remaining in the game.

On UCF's following possession, Schneider fumbled after getting hit from behind, which Akron's Marques Hayes recovered at the UCF 22.

The turnover was UCF's third of the game. UCF entered the game last in the nation in turnover differential per game (-2.67). Jason Swiger drilled a 39-yard field goal following the fumble.

The Golden Knights added their final touchdown of the game when Schneider hit Capers on a 20-yard touchdown pass to complete a six-play, 70-yard scoring drive.

UCF Game Notes
UCF at Akron
October 18, 2003
Rubber Bowl

Ryan Schneider made his 35th career start at quarterback Saturday vs. Akron. The senior quarterback missed the last two games after injuring his shoulder at Kent State (Sept. 27). Schneider ended the game 25-of-34 for 259 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Schneider moved into a tie for 14th place in NCAA history with two touchdown passes vs. Akron. Schneider has 79 for his career, placing him in a tie with former Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke and current NC State quarterback Philip Rivers.

Schneider moved into the top 20 in NCAA career passing yards with his 223-yard performance vs. the Zips. Schneider passed Brian McClure of Bowling Green for 20th on the NCAA all-time passing yardage list with 10,469 career yards.

Ryan Schneider's third quarter touchdown pass to Tavaris Capers extended his own school record to 26 consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass.

Schneider completed passes to eight different receivers on the night, including a team-high six receptions by Tavaris Capers for 69 yards and two touchdowns.

Redshirt freshman tailback Dontavius Wilcox scored his second career touchdown on a six-yard scamper in the third quarter. After entering the game with just 20 career yards on eight carries, Wilcox ended the game with 43 yards on six carries and three receptions for 15 yards.

The 14 third-quarter points for the Golden Knights tied for the second-highest point output in a quarter this season. UCF scored 16 points in the fourth quarter in the 33-29 win over Florida Atlantic.

UCF scored 24 points in the game, snapping a streak of four straight games without reaching the 20-point plateau. The last time UCF failed to reach 20 points in four straight games was in 1996, UCF's first year in Division I-A football.

For the first time this season, UCF scored first when Matt Prater kicked a 19-yard field goal. The score also marked the first time in 2003 UCF scored on its opening possession.

Akron outscored the Golden Knights 7-3 in the first quarter. In seven games this season, UCF has been outscored 72-12 in the opening period. UCF has just one first quarter touchdown in 2003.

Josh Stephens made his second career start at defensive end while DeMarcus Johnson made his first start of the season at defensive tackle.

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