UCF won their fifth game of the season over the Rice Owls by a score of 41-14.
Why UCF won the game
The fans who came out for homecoming were not disappointed, as the Knights played their most complete, dominating game of the season. UCF was able to outplay Rice in all three phases of the game, and did not take their foot off the pedal until late in the contest. UCF officially outgained Rice 391-229, despite losing the turnover battle 2-1 and showed much improved special teams play. Blake Clingan had to punt only twice for the Knights, both coming in garbage time. The offense opened up the playbook leading to the Knights’ highest passing yardage of the season, and the defense was smothering, leading to six sacks.
Why Rice lost the game:
UCF was simply able to do everything better today. The Rice offense struggled mightily against UCF’s first-string defense, unable to score until the Knights pulled some of their starters. The defense faired not better, allowing the Knights to score touchdowns on their first five drives of the game. Penalties did not help their cause, committing 5 for 42 yards.
In a game like this, it’s tough to pick just one. My offensive game ball goes to Jeff Godfrey, despite Weaver’s impressive three-TD game. My defensive game ball goes to Darius Nall. Godfrey took control of this offense and led them on impressive drive after impressive drive, helping the Knights put Rice away early. Jeff was 13-18 for 178 yards and TD through the air in three quarters of play. He also had 10 rushes for 42 yards and a TD. Nall and Troy Davis each had 2 ½ sacks today, but Nall applied constant pressure on Fanuzzi all game. He also finished with six tackles. Nall is a great story, beating cancer two years ago to come back and play at a high level for the Knights.
What this all means:
The Knights are now 3-0 in conference play. UCF has faced the bottom-feeders of Conference USA so far, but have done what they should do and blown each of them out. Now UCF faces the tough part of its conference schedule with games against East Carolina, Houston and Southern Miss coming up.
UCF has their most important game of the season so far coming up next week at home against fellow conference undefeated team East Carolina. Next Saturday’s contest will play a big part in determining who the winner of the Conference USA East division will ultimately be. East Carolina has won Conference USA the last two years.
- 269 passing yards were the most on the season for the Knights
- 8 Different receivers caught passes
- Adam Brock and Michelle Messina were voted Homecoming King and Queen at half time
- Daunte Culpepper, Wayne Densch, Kevin Smith and Joe Burnett were honored at half time; their names and numbers will now be displayed in the second deck of Bright House Networks Stadium.
- The Knights were 4 for 4 on fourth down