WVU - UCF game preview

The UCF Golden Knights ride into Morgantown in an attempt to put out the flames from a WVU win over Virginia Tech.

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BlueGoldNews.com Game Scorecard
Series:First Meeting
When: 11/1, 1:00
Where: Morgantown
Stadium: Mountaineer Field
Record: 3-4
Rank: 53
Last Week: VT
Returning Starters: 12
Defense: 8
Offense: 4
Click for Touchdown City, West Virginia Forecast
Record: 3-5
Rank: 117
Last Week: C. Michigan
Returning Starters: 12
Defense: 8
Offense: 4
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2003 Schedule
First Meeting: 2003
Last Meeting: None
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2003 Schedule

Common Opponents to Date:

Injuries:

WVU - Tim Brown (Achilles) Out, Jahmile Addae (Shoulder) Out, Moe Fofona (shoulder) Probable,

Central Florida- Stanford Rhule (Ankle) Questionable, Ryan Schneider (Shoulder) Probable.

Game Outlook:

BlueGoldNews.com
Game Info
WVU 3-4, 2-1
UCF 3-5, 2-3
Sat: 11/1 1:00 pm
Mountaineer Field
Series: First Meeting
TV: ESPN GamePlan
Sagarin: WVU-53 UCF-117
Line:WVU -21.5
Stats & Trends
WVU offense vs. Knights defense

Ball control will be the name of the game against UCF's defense. The Golden Knights' defense has been anything but stellar this season, allowing opposing offenses to run the ball at will. In addition, the UCF defense has not been opportunistic, causing only 6 turnovers through 8 games. They were the last defense in 1A to intercept a pass, picking off a toss in last week's homecoming win.

The UCF defensive unit is lead by All-MAC defensive back Atari Bigby. Bigby leads the team with 77 tackles, and has all of the skills necessary to play on Sundays. Joining Bigby in the backfield will be Peter Sands, Omar Laurence and Rovel Hamilton. This trio has combined for 145 tackles but have failed to come up with an interception this year.

Manning the linebacking corps in UCF's 4-3 alignment will be Antoine Poe, Stanford Rhule and Rovel Hamilton. Poe has arguably been one of the best defenders in the Mid-American Conference. Poe has totaled 73 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, a blocked kick and has 2 forced turnovers. Rhule and Hamilton have combined for 66 tackles. Hamilton has also been solid on pass defense, breaking up 8 passes.

The defensive line has struggled this season, collecting only 4 quarterback sacks and allowing opposing running backs to break into the defensive backfield for big gains. The defensive line is manned by Paul Carrington, Brent Polar, Larry Brown and Frisner Nelson.

WVU ranks 74th in total offense (355.86 yds/game), 13th in rushing offense (207.0 yds/game) and 106th in passing offense (148.86 yds/game).

Central Florida ranks 83rd in total defense (397.5 yds/game), 97th in rushing defense (189.0 yds/game) and 104th in passing efficiency defense (147.36 rating).

Advantage: WVU

WVU defense vs. Knights offense

Leading the Golden Knights' offense has been much-heralded quarterback Ryan Schneider. The senior signal caller has thrown for 1696 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season. On the flip side, Schneider has thrown 14 interceptions while battling the injury bug. Schneider's quarterback rating is 135.5, ranking him 36th in the country and one spot ahead of WVU quarterback Rasheed Marshall (135.2)

The running game has been lead by Alex Haynes. Haynes has gained 573 yards on 129 attempts, averaging 4.4 yards per tote. Coming in to give Haynes a break will be Dontavius Wilcox. Wilcox is a freshman tailback that has averaged 4.2 yards per carry while scoring three touchdowns.

The receiving corps has been lead by the talented Tavarias Capers. Capers is averaging 63.5 yards per game while racking up a team leading seven touchdowns. Luther Huggins and Dee Brown have also made an impact in the passing game, combining for 46 receptions, 375 yards and one score.

By the numbers:
WVU ranks 53rd in total defense (359.71 yds/game), 62nd in rushing defense (145.29 yds/game) and 33rd in passing efficiency defense (112.39).

Central Florida ranks 78th in total offense (351.5 yds/game), 100th in rushing offense (107.88 yds/game) and 40th in passing (243.63 yds/game).

Advantage: WVU

WVU special teams vs. Knights special teams

The Golden Knights' special teams have been solid during UCF's eighth season in Division 1A play. Punter Matt Prater has been one of the top booters in the country this season. Prater has averaged 48.3 yards per punt with a long kick of 74 yards. Prater also handles the kicking duties and has performed well, connecting on seven of ten field goal tries and while going 18-19 on extra points.

The Knights also have some solid athletes returning punts and kicks. Returning punts will be the speedy Tavaris Capers. Capers has 8.6 yards per return, including one touchdown return against Buffalo. Returning Brad Cooper kickoffs will be Luther Huggins. Huggins has handled the majority of the returns and is averaging 26.4 yards per kick, good enough to rank Huggins 18th in the country.

By the numbers:
WVU ranks 81st in net punting (34.71 yds/punt), 15th in kick returns (24.42 yds/return) and 101st in punt returns (6.73 yds/return).

Central Florida ranks 1st in net punting (44.72 yds/punt), 51st in kick returns (21.44 yds/return) and 77th in punt returns (8.21 yds/return)

Advantage: UCF

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Links
GameDay Weather
Road Conditions
UCF Message Board
UCF Official Site
UCF Roster
Stadium Seating
Tailgating
Picks to Click:

On Offense: Offensive Line

On Defense: Lance Frazier

Useless Facts:

* 71 players on the UCF roster are from the Sunshine State.

* In the year 2000 Josh McKibben was named to the Successful Farming first team.

* UCF's student enrollment has reached 40,000.

* Since reaching the Division 1A level in 1996 the Golden Knights are 43-35.

* Saturday's game will include UCF defensive back Atari Bigby and WVU defensive back Adam "Pac Man" Jones .

Be sure to check out our Stats & Trends section for lots more matchup information!

Prediction:

With WVU looking to run the table and capture a bowl invitation (a scenario that looked bleak before last week), the UCF Golden Knights will have to play their best game to have a chance at an upset. The Knights have struggled through the first half of the season, but their confidence is riding high after last week's victory over Central Michigan. West Virginia's confidence is also at a season high and will hand the ball over to Quincy Wilson, Kay Jay Harris and the offensive line to bring this victory home. The only thing burned in Morgantown this weekend will be the Golden Knight defense.

WVU - 31 Central Florida - 13


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