CoogFans' UCF update

The Knights are in the driver's seat to take home the C-USA East title and make it to the conference championship game.

UCF Knights
Conference USA

2010 Record: (6-2, 4-0)
2009 Record: (8-5, 6-2)
2009 Bowl: St. Petersburg Bowl vs Rutgers (L 24-45)
Coach: George O'Leary (40-43 at UCF, 92-76 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Charlie Taaffe
Defensive Coordinator: Dave Huxtable

Current Leaders
Rushing: Ronnie Weaver, RB, 638 yards
Passing: Jeff Godfrey, QB, 1,006 yards
Receiving: Brian Watters, WR, 332 yards
Tackles: Kemal Ishmael, S, 49
Sacks: Darius Nall, DE, 7.5
Interceptions: Reggie Weams, S, 3

Other Key Players: WR Kamar Aiken, CB Justin Boddie, G Theo Goins, DT Victory Gray, WR A.J. Guyton, LB Derrick Hallman, LB Josh Linam, DE Bruce Miller, RB Latavius Murray, G Nick Pieschel, OT Jah Reid, CB Josh Robinson, DE David Williams, LB Lawrence Young

Heading into the October 30th match-up against East Carolina, UCF was a mere 1-8 all-time against the Pirates. This was a big game too as the last two undefeated teams in Conference USA squared off. The Knights did not win the game with their usual stout defense, but ECU simply could not stop the UCF offense and the Knights took a huge step forward, proving that they could win in a shootout. And UCF will likely be in another shootout against Houston on Friday night.

Strengths:
Despite the offense coming around over the last month, this is a team that still wins games with defense. The Knights front four has done a superb job getting pressure on the opposing quarterback. This is a group that goes four deep at defensive end. The conference's reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Bruce Miller, only has three sacks on the year, but his presence on the field has opened things up for the rest of the line. Darius Nall is having a great year and Troy Davis and David Williams give the Knights plenty of quality depth at the end spots. That is why UCF ranks first in the conference with 2.38 sacks per game. Yet, that is not all the defense does well. They rank 13th in the nation in rush defense and 15th in pass defense. Linebackers Derrick Hallman, Josh Linam and Lawrence Young are an experienced group that does a lot of everything. It is the pass defense that has improved the most since last season. What was a young secondary is now an experienced group that is thwarting just about everybody's passing game. Safeties Kemal Ishmael and Reggie Weams are leading the way, but corners Justin Boddie and Josh Robinson deserve a ton of credit as well.

Weaknesses:
Heading into the summer UCF thought they would have a relatively experienced quarterback in Rob Calabrese and a proven running back in Brynn Harvey. However, Harvey was hurt before the season even began and Calabrese's season is over after suffering a knee injury in mid-October. The passing game has never really recovered, but true freshman Jeff Godfrey is getting better with every game. Godfrey is enough of a threat to throw to keep defenses honest, but he does most of his damage with his legs. It is on the ground where the Knights make the most of their offense. Ronnie Weaver has developed into a fine rusher and has ten touchdowns on the season. Latavius Murray does not have a ton of carries, but he is a touchdown vulture who has five scores on the season, including three last week against ECU. The strength of the ground game is really due to the offensive line. Not only do they make some big holes for the backs, but they also give time to Godfrey who could use all the time he can get. If the Knights fall behind and are forced to pass, they could be in trouble, but if they have the time to stick to the ground game, UCF is very difficult to stop.

The Bottom Line:
The Knights are in the driver's seat to take home the C-USA East title and make it to the conference championship game. However, with a trip to Houston and a visit by Southern Miss coming up in the next two weeks, UCF still has some work to do. If the Knights want to be the unquestionable leader of the conference, they have to win those games. In the meantime, Houston is battling it out with Southern Methodist for the top spot in the West and it is very possible that Friday night's game between the Cougars and the Knights will be a preview of the championship game. Houston just needs to find a way to stop the UCF ground game and force Godfrey to put the ball in the air or the Knights will remain undefeated in conference play.

2010 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 199.88 (22nd in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 176.63 (92, 11)
Total Offense: 376.50 (61, 8)
Scoring Offense: 32.88 (30, 5)
Rushing Defense: 102.63 (13, 2)
Pass Defense: 177.25 (15, 1)
Total Defense: 279.88 (9, 1)
Scoring Defense: 16.50 (11, 1)
Turnover Margin: -.38 (84, 8)
Sacks: 2.38 (33, 1)
Sacks Allowed: .88 (14, 2)

2010 Results:
September 4th vs. South Dakota: 38-7
September 11th vs. North Carolina State: 21-28
September 18th at Buffalo: 24-10
September 25th at Kansas State: 13-17
October 6th vs. UAB: 42-7
October 13th at Marshall: 35-14
October 23rd vs. Rice: 41-14
October 30th vs. East Carolina: 49-35


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