No Place Like Home for UCF

It may not have been the capacity crowd that the Knights saw against USF and perhaps the fans weren't as rowdy as they were during the C-USA championship game last season, but it was home sweet home for UCF against SMU.

The Knights defeated SMU 31-17 in front of an announced crowd of 43,417 fans at Bright House Networks Stadium. The crowd didn't seem that big, but the fans were loud when they needed to be and for a UCF team that had lost three games in a row, being home was a welcomed change.

"It felt good, especially being out there in front of our crowd," said quarterback Michael Greco. "I love being at home, I love our fans to death, they always have our back and it's exciting. I wouldn't want to play anywhere else except for home."

Greco has had a lot of success in the friendly confines of Bright House Networks Stadium. In his last four quarters played in Orlando, he has thrown for four touchdowns. Greco has not had good luck away from home, having a dismal performance against Boston College several weeks ago and sitting out last week's loss to UTEP.

Greco wasn't the only one who struggled away from home, as the Knights lost both games away from Orlando this season. UCF fell 37-7 at Boston College and was embarrassed at UTEP, losing 58-13. At home though, UCF has suffered just one loss this season, and that was in overtime against USF. The Knights have lost just two games at Bright House Networks Stadium, and they both were to ranked opponents.

"I think playing at home and our home crowd really helps the kids," said Coach George O'Leary. "I give a lot of praise to our fan base, they get involved in the game and the kids react to it, they really do."

UCF sports one of the more knowledgeable fan bases in college football, as they make noise at appropriate times and get quiet when necessary. The team seemed to feed off the crowd Saturday, especially on defense, as the unit forced three turnovers, including three interceptions.

While the home field advantage certainly helped propel UCF to its second victory of the season, the team still needs to take care of business at home and away. The Knights will head to Miami this weekend and then will head to the state of Oklahoma the following week to take on the high-scoring Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

"It's been a long time since we've been at home, but we have another stretch coming up where we aren't going to be at home," said defensive end Bruce Miller. "I know everyone loves being at home with the fans being loud, but we have to keep playing hard, regardless of where we play."


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