Knights Looking for Revenge

64-12. It is a score that will forever be sketched in the back of the minds of UCF coaches, players, and fans alike. That number represents the perhaps one of the most vicious beat downs in UCF history, as the USF Bulls downed the Knights easily last October.

Touchdown after touchdown, tackle after tackle, it seemed like the Bulls could do no wrong. Less than a year following the lopsided victory, the Knights now have revenge on the mind.

It wasn't so much that UCF lost, or that the team lost by a lot. It was the fact that UCF had high hopes after a near victory over perennial power Texas and that they were humiliated in front of a national audience by their local rival. It wasn't a war on I-4 last year, it was a massacre.

"It's like a burning fire inside of us. It's one of our biggest games of the season. We feel as if we really owe them one so we want to give it our all," said sophomore receiver Khymest Williams after last Saturday's victory over S.C. State.

While the thought of avenging last season's blowout is likely going through the mind of each and every UCF player, the Knights are not about to give USF any bulletin board material. Instead, UCF is remaining quiet and will do their talking on the field.

"You could think about last year as motivation at what they did to us, but a lot of that was caused by us. If we go out there and do what we're supposed to do, we'll be all right," said senior receiver Rocky Ross.

What about USF "running up the score" last season? After all, the Bulls had a commanding lead early on and continued to take shots downfield. Fans certainly have kept that in their mind, but coaches and players have been more reserved.

"As far as running the score up, I wasn't on their sideline so I don't know what their coach was telling them. I know we were on the field as the defense and we were going as hard as we could, and I'm sure they were doing the same," said senior safety Sha'reff Rashad.

Coach George O'Leary had similar sentiments to Rashad.

"I don't get involved, and a lot of the coaches do, as far as running scores up. To me it's not a big deal; you're out there to stop them, they're out there to score and that's how the game is played," added O'Leary.

USF is also making sure they don't give UCF any extra motivation. In fact, some USF players are going as far to say that UCF is trash talking, something O'Leary has made sure he has kept quiet. "We hear them talking noise about us, but we've got to just go out there and play the game. It isn't about talking; it is about showing up out there on Saturday," said USF star defensive end George Selvie.

Regardless of who is saying what, the Knights are now going about the last meeting of this series a little differently. UCF will not let emotions overcome them this time and will look to be more poised than last season.

"The bottom line is when we get out there, we just have to play…We have to go out there, we have to execute, we have a good game plan coming in so far," said senior receiver Rocky Ross.

O'Leary and all of the Knights will not get caught up in the hype and jawing that goes on in a series such as this, but he won't forget last season's disappoint performance, and says his team has seen plenty of film from last year's game.

"Oh no, I didn't forget about it, they're in our cut-ups. We'll take three or four or five game cut-ups on opponents," said O'Leary. "They've seen them, I don't think you have to remind them too much about it, they've seen them on film."

With 64-12 ringing loudly in the ears of UCF players and coaches alike, the Knights are ready to take the field Saturday. UCF is keeping quiet and isn't getting involved in too much hype, but you'd be crazy if you didn't think the Knights were looking for a little revenge.


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