UCF sits with a 2-5 record on the season but both of the team's two wins have a common denominator; both came at home. UCF has only lost two games ever at Bright House Networks Stadium and has never suffered defeat against a C-USA foe at the stadium either.
With an excellent home field advantage, UCF is relieved to be back at home against ECU, who currently sits above UCF in the East Division of the C-USA.
"Playing at home is great, it's a big advantage for us because we haven't lost a conference game yet at home," said senior linebacker Antonio Wallace.
Bright House Networks Stadium, or "the trampoline," has posed a difficult place to play for any team that has set foot in it. With a capacity to hold 45,000 people, it is filled with aluminum seats, causing noise to reverberate through the stadium. With a dedicated and passionate fan base, players love playing at home.
"I know everyone loves being at home with the fans being loud, but we have to keep playing hard, regardless of where we play," said Bruce Miller.
The home game comes just in time for the Knights, who are riding a two game losing streak and have won just one game since the team's season opener against S.C. State in August.
UCF's last home game came against SMU, which ended with a 31-17 victory. That was nearly a month ago and the team has had only one home game in almost two months. Playing in front of a capacity squad should certainly help a young offense find rhythm and will make life difficult for opponents.
"I think it is good to get home," said Coach George O'Leary. "The players enjoy playing at home. It is difficult on a team when you are traveling three hours or four hours in a plane. I think the kids have handled it extremely well, but there is no place like home."
UCF will host ECU on Sunday. Both teams had high expectations for the season but both have faltered, especially ECU which is 4-3 after a start that included wins over West Virginia and Virginia Tech, both ranked schools at the time. The Knights currently trail ECU by a game in the division and need the victory in order to stay alive for the C-USA championship hunt.
"If you have to win five to win the division so that you don't have to worry about not controlling where you end up, then I would say this is a red-letter game," added O'Leary. "If you want to control your own destiny, then you cannot afford a setback."
The game will also be played on Sunday night on ESPN, so a national audience will be viewing, as will many of UCF's top recruits, who plan on visiting the game, thus making a well played game all the more important.
With so much on the line, UCF is certainly happy to be home at last.
UCF Looks Forward to Home Cookin'
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