Previewing UCF

NC State faces Breshad Perriman and UCF tonight at 8 in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. Here are some pregame notes on the Knights.


      UCF STATS  
    Category Average National Rank
    Scoring Offense 28.2 ppg 72nd
    Total Offense 361 ypg 103rd
    Rushing Offense 131 ypg 105th
    Passing Offense 230 ypg 64th
    Scoring Defense 17.8 ppg 9th
    Total Defense 282 ypg 3rd
    Rushing Defense 97 ypg 5th
    Passing Defense 185 ypg 11th
    Turnover Margin -0.08 67th
    Sacks 2.75 26th
    Sacks Allowed 2.17 72nd
    Red Zone Offense   91st
    Red Zone Defense   8th

    Breshad Perriman -- An All-AAC 1st-team selection, Perriman is the team's leading receiver and one of the most explosive players in the country.

    He has delivered 41 receptions for 906 yards and nine touchdowns. He ranks fourth nationally in yards per reception (22.1) and is in the top 20 in receiving touchdowns.

    Jacoby Glenn -- AAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, Glenn has picked up where he left off from his Freshman All-American season in 2013, ranking third in the nation in interceptions (seven in 12 games) and fourth in passes defended (18).

    In less than two seasons as a Knight, the sophomore cornerback has nine interceptions, putting him in a tie for sixth on the UCF career list. He has also totaled 26 break-ups, good for 10th in UCF history.

    UCF Notables

    UCF assistant head coach of offense and offensive line coach Brent Key was at Western Carolina as its tight ends and running backs coach in 2004.

    NC State’s safeties and co-special teams coach Clayton White was Western Carolina’s defensive backs and special teams coach that same season.

  • NC State defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable was with UCF head coach George O’Leary at UCF from 2004-10 (linebackers and special teams from 2004-07 and defensive coordinator from 2008-10).

    Huxtable also worked for O’Leary at Georgia Tech.

    The Black and Gold are 9-11 all-time vs. schools from the Tar Heel State.

  • UCF is coming off a win over East Carolina, one of six schools it has faced from North Carolina (also NC State, Elizabeth City, Elon, Gardner-Webb and Catawba).

    Facing off with the Atlantic Coast Conference, UCF has rumbled with 10 of its current members.

  • The Knights have won two straight vs. current ACC programs, having defeated Boston College in 2011 and Louisville in 2013.

  • It has not played Duke, North Carolina, Virginia and Wake Forest.

    UCF fans took over Tampa earlier this season on Nov. 28, and they will get to #TakeoverTampaBay Dec. 26 with the Knights battling NC State in the 2014 Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. Kickofis set for 8 p.m. on ESPN.

  • This will be the Knights’ third trip to Tropicana Field, and the second in the last three years.

  • The Knights are going bowling for the third straight year, and for the seventh time since their first bowl appearance in 2005.

  • UCF began 0-3 in bowl games, but has since won three in a row.

    UCF, Florida State, Baylor are the three schools with a streak of winning at least two conference titles.

  • UCF, Florida State, Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, Oregon, Arkansas State and Boise State are sevenschools with three conference titles since 2010.

    Dating back to 2005 and UCF’s first year in Conference USA as well as its first bowl game, the Knights have been on a roll:

    - Four division titles
    - Four conference championships
    - Seven bowl games (includes 2014)
    - Seven seasons of at least eight wins
    - Four seasons of at least 10 wins
    - Every senior class recruited by head coach George O’Leary has won at least one conference title

    UCF is on a 25-game winning streak when contests begin at 3 p.m. or later.

    The Knights enter the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl with seven straight victories on Fridays, and are 13-5 all-time when playing on a Friday.

  • They also have an overall string of 14 consecutive victories on non-Saturdays games.

    Of head coach George O’Leary’s 140 games at UCF, 56 of them (40 percent) have been decided by seven points or less.

  • Thirteen of the Knights’ last 23 games have featured margins of seven points or less, and their record in those games stands at 11-2.

  • Last year, the Knights were 7-1 in games decided by seven points or less, and they overcame six second- half deficits for victories.

  • In 2014, UCF did not go to that extreme to pick up nine victories, but it did have several heart-attack moments:

    Opening the season in Ireland, UCF took a 24-23 lead with 1:13 left before PSU won it on a 36-yard field goal with no time remaining.

    - In the conference opener at Houston three games later, UCF held a 17-12 lead as UH’s Greg Ward Jr. scrambled toward the goal line only to watch as Brandon Alexander stripped the football by the pylon, causing a touchback with 24 seconds to go.

    - One week later vs. BYU, UCF needed five plays to grab a 31-24 advantage in over time before the defense shut down the Cougars on the 6-yard line.

    - The following game vs. Tulane, the Green Wave had two fourth-quarter drives to attempt to tie it up at 20-20 but the UCF defense prevailed both times.

    - To win a share of the conference title on the last play of the regular season, UCF stunned East Carolina with a 51-yard Hail Mary from Justin Holman to Breshad Perriman.

    With the most receiving yards by a Knight since 2006, All-AAC First Team member Breshad Perriman took on the role of Blake Bortles from a year ago by flying under the radar most of his career before finally getting some national attention late as a junior.

  • Forty-one percent of his catches have gone for at least 20 yards (17 of 41).

  • Perriman has a touchdown reception in seven straight outings, the first Knight to accomplish that feat since Bret Cooper had a string of eight consecutive games with a TD catch in 1992.

  • Perriman has a reception in 30 straight games, tied for the fifth-longest streak in school history.

    UCF athletics contributed to this report.

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