UCF Game Balls: Week 1 vs SC State

The Knights avoided a potential upset Saturday evening after downing the visiting South Carolina State Bulldogs, 17-0. UCF looked a little rusty on offense and stellar on defense, something that is expected for week one. Here is a list of the players and occurrences that stood out during UCF's season opening victory.

· Latavius Murray - The last time Murray played, he was suiting up in high school. Now the true freshman running back is starting to tear it up in college, as he rushed for both of UCF's touchdowns. Murray finished with 11 carries for 45 yards, and ran with a physical style that should help wear opponents down as the season progresses.

· Ronnie Weaver - UCF's starting running back didn't look spectacular, but he was tough between the tackles and did a solid job of helping to move the chains throughout the game. He ran for 84 yards on 23 carries for the evening.

· Jason Venson - The senior safety was an emotional leader for the Knights and made big plays throughout the game. He caught an errant pass by Malcom Long, logging his first interception of the season. Venson also made some big plays in run support, including a jarring hit in the first quarter.

· Jordan Richards - After missing all of last season due to injury, Richards replaced the idle LB Cory Houge in the starting rotation. Richards finished with seven tackles and was very physical on the night.

· Joe Burnett - Burnett didn't let much get by on his side of the field and was stellar as a punt returner, as he averaged over 20 yards on four returns. He also set the C-USA record in punt return yards on the evening, as he broke 1,000 for his career.

· Khymest Williams - In his first game as a starter, the sophomore receiver had a pretty big game, and was consistent on intermediate routes. Williams led the team with five receptions for 32 yards, which surpassed his career of total of one reception last year.

· UCF's secondary - The front four didn't get much push, but UCF's secondary did a very good job of not letting players get open. The Knights held S.C. State QB Malcolm Long to 11-of-21 passing for just 74 yards, with his longest pass of the night going for 13 yards.

· UCF's coaches - To the untrained eye, there might be some serious concern for next week's game against USF. The offense had a hard time converting, but in fact, UCF ran a fairly vanilla offense without exposing too much. The Knights got a lot of reps for their freshmen running backs, and Michael Greco was able to get some reps throwing ball.

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