WVU vs UCF Game Preview

The Mountaineers travel to hurricane striken Florida for their first road trip of the 2004 season. WVU looks to go 2-0 againt the Golden Knights of UCF.

BlueGoldNews.com Game Scorecard
Series: WVU leads 1-0
When: 9/11, 6:00pm
Where: Orlando
Stadium: Citrus Bowl
Record: 1-0
Rank: 42
Last Week: ECU
Returning Starters: 16
Defense: 8
Offense: 8
Click for Touchdown City, West Virginia Forecast
Record: 0-1
Rank: 94
Last Week:Wisconsin
Returning Starters: 17
Defense: 6
Offense: 8
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2004 Schedule
First Meeting: 2003
Last Meeting: 2003
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2004 Schedule

Common Opponents to Date: N/a


WVU - Chris Bassler Out, Erick Phillips (Knee) Out, Adam Lehnortt (Shoulder) Probable, Chris Henry (Ankle) Probable, Bryan Wright (Knee) Probable, Ben Lynch (Shoulder) Questionable

Central Florida- None reported

Game Outlook:

Game Info
WVU 1-0, 0-0
UCF 0-1, 0-0
Sat: 9/11 6:00 pm
Citrus Bowl
Series: WVU leads 1-0
TV: None
Sagarin: WVU-40 UCF-91
Line: WVU -20
Stats & Trends
WVU offense vs. UCF defense

The Golden Knight defense will be a solid unit in 2004 with six players being upperclassmen. Atari Bigby (5-11, 210) is the leader of the defense and a 2004 College Football news All-America canidate. Bigby, a two-time first team all-MAC defensive back, will be playing on Sunday's next season. The Miami native is also 10th in school history with 254 career tackles. Joining Bigby at the safety position will be Travonti Johnson (6-2, 185). Johnson takes over for Peter Sands who has been declared academically ineligible to begin the season. The redshirt sophomore saw most of his action last season on special teams.

Manning the corner positions will be Mike Walker (6-2, 190) and Ron Ellis (5-11, 190). Walker, a sophomore, has been converted from wide receiver for the 2004 campaign. Ellis, an athletic sophomore, racked up two tackles, including one for a loss against the Mountaineers last season.

The linebacking corp is lead by Stanford Rhule (5-9, 240). Rhule, who was hampered by a knee injuries last season, is back to full strength after tallying 127 tackles in 2002. Joining Rhule will be James Cook (6-3, 210) and Josh Stephens (6-1, 255). Cook appeared in nine games with one start last season. Stephens is a converted defensive lineman that earned JUCO first team all-conference in 2002, recording 12 sacks.

UCF's four-man defensive line could be a sore spot for the Golden Knights. Redshirt sophomore Chris Welsh (6-4, 295) starts at left end. Welsh recorded 15 tackles last season in a reserve role. Manning the right end will be Paul Carrington (6-7, 250). The redshirt junior is the most experienced linemen. Carrington started 10 of 11 games in 2003, racking up 50 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Look for Carrington to bat down at least one of Rasheed Marshall's passes.

Handling the tackle positions will be Keith Shologan (6-2, 275) and Frisner Nelson (6-2, 290). Shologon, a true freshman, was rated as the number one prospect in Canada by NFCFLFutures.com a season ago. Nelson, a redshirt junior, started nine games last season talling 38 total tackles, 7.5 tackles-for-loss, two sacks and three quarterback hurries.

WVU is ranked 4th in total offense (621.00 yds/game), 2nd in rushing offense (478.00 yds/game) and 79th in passing offense (143.00 yds/game).

Central Florida is ranked 63rd in total defense (400.00 yds/game), 78th in rushing defense (230.00 yds/game) and 76th in passing efficiency defense (149.40 rating).

Advantage: WVU

WVU defense vs. UCF offense

The Golden Knight offense will be lead by true sophomore, Steven Moffett (6-3, 200). Moffett, who started the last three games of the 2003 season, has a big-time arm and was of the top three quarterbacks coming out of the state of Florida his senior year in high school. Last week against Wisconsin he completed 13 or 24 passes for 177 and one interception. Badger head coach Barry Alvarez commented on Moffett before their match-up, "(In Moffett) you see a multitalented quarterback, a quarterback that can beat with you with his hands, with his arm, and with his feet."

In the backfield for UCF will be Alex Haynes (5-10, 225) at tailback and Goodson Ohaegbulam (6-0, 235) leading the way at fullback. Going into the season, Haynes needs only 630 yards to become UCF's all-time leading rusher and is third in school history with 22 career-rushing touchdowns. The senior tallied 63 yards and a touchdown in last season's tilt against WVU. Last week against a stout Badger defense Haynes managed only 56 yards on 21 carries.

Ohaegbulam will be seeing his first action this season as a fullback but will most likely be primarily a blocker for UCF's tailbacks. The redshirt sophomore saw time last season on special teams and defense, logging two tackles versus WVU.

The Golden Knights receiving corp includes a rotation of six primary receivers including the tight end and Haynes. Luther Huggins (5-9, 190) and Tavaris Capers (5-9, 165) are the two big play threats on the UCF offense. Huggins, a speedster from Miami Fl., caught 5 passes for 85 yards against the Badgers and totaled 375 yards on 26 receptions a season ago. Capers, also a senior, was held to 27 yards on 2 receptions last week but has the speed to take any reception for six points.

The Knights will also use Darcy Johnson (6-5, 245) at tight end. Johnson led the team last season with an average of 17.0 yards per reception. The redshirt junior snagged two passes for 38 yards against the Badgers.

Central Florida's offensive line is big but inexperienced. The line averages 6-4 and 300 pounds but starts two true freshmen and three redshirt sophomores. Anchoring the unit and playing center will be Cedric Gagne-Marcoux (6-3, 290). Gagne-Marcoux, a native of Canada, started nine games last season until a suspension ended his season early. Left tackle Dan Veenstra (6-5, 290) started every game last season and was one of the team's most consistent performers in 2003. Left guard Dominic Ignelzi (6-4, 310) is one of the two starting true freshman. Ignelzi, a Florida native, was second team all state and was selected to the 2004 Louisiana vs. Florida All-Star Game. Josh Sitton (6-5, 295), the right guard, is the other true freshman on the offensive line. Sitton, a three starter at Pensacola Catholic, was named second team all state and all-area first team offensive lineman. Rounding out the line will be right tackle Sean Gilhuly (6-5, 310). Gilhuly had one start entering the 2004 campaign and is UCF's strongest offensive lineman.

By the numbers:
WVU is ranked 58th in total defense (381.00 yds/game), 21st in rushing defense (59.00 yds/game) and 56th in passing efficiency defense (115.60).

Central Florida is ranked 87th in total offense (230.00 yds/game), 85th in rushing offense (53.00 yds/game) and 61st in passing offense (177.00 yds/game).

Advantage: WVU

WVU special teams vs. UCF special teams

Central Florida's special teams are experienced and possess one of the top kickers in the country. Matt Prater (5-10, 170) lead the nation in punting in 2003 with an average of 47.9 yards per attempt. The junior also connected on 10-13 field goals, including 4-4 from over 40 yards. The All MAC performer will focus on place kicking this season, leaving the punting duties to Aaron Horne (6-3, 190). Horne enters his first season as the UCF punter and looks to continue Prater's success.

Handling the kick and punt returns will be Luther Huggins and Tavaris Capers respectively. Huggins ranked 25th in the nation in 2003, averaging 25.1 yards per return. The senior had two returns last week against the Badgers for 27 yards. Capers, playing in his fourth season, has been clocked as low as 4.2 in the 40 which gives him big play potential.

By the numbers:
WVU is ranked 83rd in net punting (30.00 yds/punt), 25th in kick returns (22.80 yds/return) and 9th in punt returns (19.00 yds/return).

Central Florida is ranked 73rd in net punting (32.63 yds/punt), 69th in kick returns (14.67 yds/return) and 77th in punt returns (0.00 yds/return)

Advantage: WVU

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

On Offense: Brandon Myles

On Defense: Scott Gyorko

Useless Facts:

* In 1992 the Golden Knights defeated the Moscow (yes, Russia) Bears 42-6.

* UCF has defeated one BCS conference team in their history. They beat a 3-8 Alabama team 40-38 in 2000.

* UCF has 54 players from the Sunshine State, that's 58% of their roster.

* Lou Saban coached the Golden Knights for 18 games in 1983 -1984.

* UCF has had a total of 19 players drafted by the NFL. Dante Culpepper was their only first round selection (1999).

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


The Golden Knights will give the Mountaineers a tougher test than East Carolina but UCF does not have the talent to match-up with WVU this season. The inexperience in the UCF offensive line with cause problems for Steven Moffett all day.

Kay Jay Harris will gain 150 yards on the ground and the Mountaineers will leave the land of the mouse with its second victory of the season.

WVU - 34 UCF - 13

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