In preparation for the genesis of the 2009 Knights season, namely, the Samford vs. UCF game, I have put together a cornucopia of pre-game notes for your viewing pleasure. See you at the game Saturday night.
Samford vs. UCF: By the numbers:
7-3: The Knights' all-time record against Samford
16-0: The Knights' record against FCS programs since joining the FBS in 1996
2005: The year that Samford redshirt senior center Jon Weber played for UCF
1997: The last time UCF and Samford met
309, 3: The amount of yards and touchdowns, respectively, that UCF starting QB Daunte Culpepper threw in the 1997 game
52-7: The Knights' victorious score in the 1997 game
UCF: Knights fans are within their right to be wary of the 2009 offense's potential, but with 10 starters returning, and another year under their belts, the offense has a new sense of confidence. Coach O'Leary said the offense had a fantastic preseason and that the offensive line has developed.
“A lot of time has been spent on the passing game, and it's showing," he told the media in a C-USA teleconference. New addition offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe has breathed new life into the O-line. Defensively, the Knights will be a force to be reckoned with, especially up front. Key returners: Rob Calabrese, Rocky Ross, Kamar Aiken, A.J. Guyton, Torrell Troup, Bruce Miller
Samford: The Bulldogs had a decent season last year, going 6-5 and 4-4 in conference play and are similar to the Knights in that their offense is looking for another successful year with returning players. However, their defense might have a difficult time stopping UCF's physical O-line.
The team's linebackers are quite small and will have to work with that weakness and find a unique way to protect them. There is only one returning backer on Samford's defense, which could quickly spell trouble. Inexperience in the secondary could also prove disastrous. Key returners: Chris Evans, Bryce Smith
Prediction: UCF 31, Samford 7
Final Words: It's game time at Bright House Networks Stadium...let's get the game faces on.
Photo Credit: (willspot/flickr.com)
View Jessica's Central Florida Knights articles at Examiner.com