Top-25 Programs Fall to MAC Teams
announces weekly awards The Golden Knights are in the
midst of playing five of their first seven games of the year on the road. Kent State is playing just its
second game of the year on its home field after road contests at Akron, No. 10 Pittsburgh and Penn State to start the year. The
Golden Flashes also defeated in-state rival Youngstown State 16-13 at Kent two
Live coverage on the UCF ISP Sports Network begins at noon
with the pregame show.
Celebrating 25 Years!
From the humble
beginnings of borrowed equipment to the bright lights of national television,
UCF is proudly celebrating its Silver Anniversary of football in
The first game left plenty to be desired as a heavy downpour prior
to kickoff flooded a cow pasture turned football field in Dade City, Fla. A
soggy crowd, exaggerated at 1,000, watched as the upstarts from Orlando blanked
St. Leo, 21-0.
Just 25 years later, fans from across the nation will tune
in to watch the Knights on television six times in 2003, including two
appearances on national television.
game is the third meeting all-time between the two schools with UCF holding a
2-0 advantage. Last season, UCF won 32-6 over the Golden Flashes in Orlando at
the Florida Citrus Bowl. Alex Haynes rushed for a then-career-high 149
yards on 23 carries including a touchdown in the 26-point victory.
last time UCF played at Kent State, the two teams combined for an offensive
shootout, as Daunte Culpepper led the Knights to a 59-43
victory. Culpepper threw for 326 yards in the win. Kent State wide receiver Eugene Baker had the best day of any
receiver ever vs. UCF, finishing with 15 receptions for 238 yards in a losing
UCF has won four straight games vs. teams from Ohio including last year’s 32-6 win over
Kent State. The last time UCF lost to a team from the Buckeye state was a 27-24
loss to Toledo at home in 2002.
offensive coordinator Robert McFarland coached at Kent State during the 1991
The 10,000 Yard Club
Ryan Schneider became just the 25th player in
NCAA history to pass for over 10,000 career yards after throwing for 284 yards
last week at Syracuse. The senior quarterback is
now 23rd in NCAA history with 10,011 career passing yards.
Passing Yard Leaders
1. Ty Detmer (BYU) 15,031
2. Tim Rattay (La. Tech) 12,746
3. Chris Redman (Louisville) 12,541
Klingsbury (Texas Tech)12,429
Todd Santos (San Diego St.) 11,425
18. Luke McCown (La. Tech)
19. Philip Rivers
(NC State) 10,318
20. Brian McClure (Bowling Green)10,280
Kopp (Pacific) 10,258
22. Glenn Foley (Boston College)10,042
Ryan Schneider (UCF) 10,011
24. Cade McNown (UCLA) 10,008
Active players in
Schneider Continues Historic Career
Ryan Schneider is also
moving quickly in the NCAA record books for career touchdown passes. The senior
is the nation’s active leader with 76 career touchdown passes.
Active TD Pass Leaders
1. Ryan Schneider, UCF 76
2. Luke McCown, La. Tech
3. Jared Lorenzen, Kentucky 71
ranks 19th in the NCAA career record books with 76 touchdowns. With two
touchdown passes, Schneider will move into the top 15 in career touchdowns,
passing such NCAA greats including, John Elway, Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman.
Last week vs.
Syracuse, Schneider tossed one touchdown pass to move past former Heisman Trophy
winner Andre Ware of Houston, who
finished his career with 75 touchdown passes.
NCAA Career Passing TD
1. Ty Detmer (BYU) 121
2. Tim Rattay (La. Tech) 115
3. Danny Wuerffel (Florida) 114
Chad Pennington (Marshall) 100
5. Kliff Kingsbury (Texas Tech) 95
T12 Drew Brees (Purdue) 81
T12 Joe Adams (Tennessee St.)81
14 Chris Weinke
15 Bart Hendricks (Boise St.)78
T16 Rex Grossman (Florida)
T16 John Elway (Stanford)
T16 Donovan McNabb (Syracuse)77
19 Ryan Schneider (UCF) 76
Andre Ware (Houston) 75
Active players in bold
Records Fall In Win
Ryan Schneider broke or tied six school records in UCF’s 33-29
win over Florida Atlantic at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Schneider passed for 497
yards, shattering his old mark of 440 yards set last season vs. Syracuse. The
497 yards also put Schneider third in Mid-American Conference history for
single-game passing yards while his 37 completions put him fourth in the MAC
Schneider broke four school records vs. Florida
* Passing yards – 497 (Old record: Schneider, 440 yards vs.
* Yards gained (passing and rushing) – 501 (Old record:
Daunte Culpepper, 480 vs. Louisiana-Monroe, 11/1/97)
* Completions – 37 (Old
record: Culpepper, 36 vs. Toledo, 10/4/98)
* Consecutive games with a
touchdown pass – 23 straight games
Schneider also tied two school career
records vs. the Owls:
* Career 300-yard passing games (15 with
* Career 400-yard passing games (3 with
Schneider In The UCF Record Books
Ryan Schneider is closing in on several of former UCF All-American Daunte
Culpepper’s school records. Schneider already broke Culpepper’s single-game
yardage mark last season vs. Syracuse (440 yards) and single-season record
(3,770 yards). The senior quarterback broke his own school mark with 497 yards
passing earlier in the year vs. Florida Atlantic.
With 76 career
touchdown passes, Schneider is the active leader among NCAA quarterbacks and is
just eight shy of Culpepper’s mark of 84.
Schneider is also third among
active players in career passing yards with 10,011. Schneider needs 1,402
passing yards to eclipse Culpepper as UCF’s all-time leader in passing
He also tied Culpepper for the school record for both 300- and
400-yard passing games in a career. With 497 yards vs. Florida Atlantic, it
marked the 15th time Schneider has broken the 300-yard mark in a game while also
eclipsing the 400-yard mark for the third time.
With 501 yards rushing
and passing vs. FAU, Schneider also broke the single-game total offense record
at UCF. Culpepper held the old mark with 480 yards vs. Louisiana-Monroe
In career pass attempts, Schneider is now second in school
history with 1,208 attempts. He moved past Darin Hinshaw (1,112) for second
place and now trails Culpepper for first by 183 attempts.
With his three touchdown passes vs. Florida Atlantic, Ryan
Schneider eclipsed Daunte Culpepper’s school record with at least one touchdown
pass in 23 consecutive games.
Schneider extended the streak to 24 games
with a touchdown pass last week at Syracuse.
The last time Schneider did
not throw a touchdown was Sept. 8, 2001 at Syracuse.
UCF Head Coach Mike Kruczek
UCF head coach
Mike Kruczek is known as one of the top offensive minds in the nation and his
teams have proven it. In his sixth season at the helm, Kruczek is 34-25 and has
finished with a winning record in four of the five years he has been head coach
Of Kruczek’s 25 losses, 18 have come against schools from BCS
conferences. During Kruczek’s tenure, the Knights have lost to a BCS team by
seven or fewer points six times.
Since taking over as the head coach of
the program in 1998, Kruczek’s teams have finished in the top 15 nationally in
passing offense. The Golden Knights ranked sixth in 2002 and ninth in 2001 in
the NCAA. In Kruczek’s first year at the helm, he led UCF to a sixth place
showing in NCAA passing offense.
Prior to being named the head coach of
the Golden Knight program in 1998, Kruczek served as the offensive
coordinator/quarterbacks coach at UCF since 1985.
UCF has had a
quarterback finish in the top 20 nationally in total offense each of the past
seven years, including three in the top five. A Golden Knight receiver has
ranked in the top 20 in the nation in six of the past seven seasons, including
four in the top 10.
Kruczek, a former All-American quarterback at Boston
College, won two Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1978
On This Date
UCF is 0-3 all-time on Sept. 27. The
last time the Golden Knights played on this date was in 1997 at No. 8 Auburn. The Tigers topped the Knights
In 1986, UCF traveled to Akron and lost 20-17 to the
In 1980, the Golden Knights lost the only home game they have ever
played on this date. Millsaps downed UCF 8-7.
Special teams coach
Joe Robinson has had quite a debut
in 2003. Robinson, who is the newest member of the coaching staff after serving
at Houston in 2002, led the Golden Knights to an impressive start to the year
vs. special teams guru Frank Beamer
and Virginia Tech.
who dubs his unit the “Wild Knights”, got the best of Beamerball.
Matt Prater set a
new UCF record with a 55.7 yardage per punt average vs. the Hokies. Prater
totaled six punts for 334 yards and had three kicks over 60 yards. The old
single-game record for UCF was held by Glenn McCombs, who averaged 49.6 yards
per punt vs. Carson-Newman on November 5, 1983.
Prater leads the nation
in punting with an average of 49.4 per punt. As a team, the Golden Knights are
also second nationally in net punting (47.0).
Prater’s 67-yard punt in
the first quarter tied for the fifth-longest punt in UCF history. Prater tied
Marek Butcher, who kicked a 67-yarder vs. Auburn Sept. 27, 1997. In the second
quarter, Prater booted a 71-yard punt, the second longest punt in school
The Wild Knights also blocked a 21-yard field goal attempt when Paul Carrington swatted away the
In the win over Florida Atlantic, the special teams unit
for UCF totaled two field goals as Prater connected from 43 and 38 yards. He
also had two touchbacks on kickoffs and punted for an average of 42.5 yards per
The special teams continued to perform well at Syracuse. Ryan Beal
blocked the first punt of his career in the first half of the game vs. the
Orangemen and Tavaris Capers
returned a punt for a career-long 35 yards.
Prater also kicked five punts
for an average of 44.6 yards per punt, including a
Schneider On Davey O’Brien List
The Davey O’Brien
Foundation announced the preseason watch list for the 2003 Davey O’Brien
National Quarterback Award and UCF senior Ryan Schneider was one of the 42
candidates named to the list. The Davey O’Brien Award is given annually to the
nation’s top college quarterback.
The O’Brien Award is the oldest and
most prestigious award in the country for college quarterbacks and is named in
honor of the late Davey O’Brien, the All-American and Heisman Trophy-winning
quarterback for Texas Christian University who led the Horned Frogs to the 1938
Schneider On Unitas Watch List
Schneider was one of 26 quarterbacks announced as candidates for the Johnny
Unitas Golden Arm Award. Of the 26 quarterbacks selected to the 2003 watch list,
Schneider was second in passing yards last season with 3,770.
is presented annually to the nation’s top college quarterback by the Frank Camp
Chapter of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation. The award is
named for Hall of Fame quarterback Unitas, who played at Louisville before his
18-year NFL career with the Baltimore Colts. Unitas died Sept. 11, 2002, at 69.
The nominees were selected by a committee of football experts from
across the United States. The committee will choose five finalists on Oct. 22.
The winner will be announced during an award presentation in Louisville on Dec.
12. Southern California quarterback
Carson Palmer won the award last year.
Bigby On Nagurski Watch
The Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of
America announced the 2003 watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy naming UCF
strong safety Atari Bigby as a
candidate for the post-season honor. The award is given annually to recognize
the top defensive player in college football.
Bigby leads UCF on the year
with 36 total tackles including 23 solo stops. He has also broken up two
Bigby, who was named as an All-MAC First-Team Defensive selection
last season, is one of 36 finalists as identified by the nearly 800 members of
the FWAA. He enters his junior season with the Golden Knights and is coming off
a sophomore year in which he registered over 100 tackles.
The award is
named after Hall of Famer and University of Minnesota and Chicago Bears star Bronko Nagurski.
UCF On TV In 2003
UCF fans will have plenty of opportunities
to view the Golden Knights on television this season. Six games have been
scheduled to air on ESPN, ESPN 2 or Sunshine Network with additional games
UCF opened the season on ESPN at No. 9/10 Virginia Tech. The Golden Knights also
host Marshall, November 19 at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN 2 for the first ever national
television appearance at home for UCF.
Sunshine Network announced that
four UCF football games will be televised live this season on Florida’s largest
regional sports network.
Additional UCF games may be added to Sunshine’s
schedule pending determination of the conference-produced “MAC Game of the Week”
Action kicks off with UCF taking on Syracuse live on
September 20, at noon (live in Orlando/Melbourne/Daytona Beach TV market only;
repeats statewide at 11 p.m.).
Other UCF games on Sunshine’s schedule
include: at Kent State on Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. (airs live statewide and repeats
Oct. 1, at 10 a.m.); at Ohio on Oct. 11 at 2 p.m. (live in Orlando/Daytona
Beach/Melbourne & Tampa/St. Pete TV markets only; repeats statewide 11p.m.);
and at West Virginia on Nov. 1 at 1
p.m. (live in Orlando/Melbourne/Daytona Beach & Tampa/St. Pete TV markets
only; repeats statewide 11 p.m.).
Play-by-play announcer Rick Peckham
will be alongside analyst Brady Ackerman for UCF’s games against Syracuse, Kent
State and West Virginia.
Haynes Continues To Hit Pay Dirt
the sixth straight game, junior tailback Alex Haynes scored a touchdown for the
Knights. Haynes finished with 82 yards on 19 carries vs. Syracuse including a
13-yard touchdown run.
Haynes has scored at least one touchdown in eight
of the last nine games he has played in.
Haynes is now tied for eighth in
school history with 21 career touchdowns scored. He is also tied for fourth in
school history with 20 career rushing touchdowns.
UCF Career Rushing TD
1. Willie English (1989-91, 93) 38
2. Daunte Culpepper (1995-98)
3. Mark Giacone (1987, 89-90) 22
4. Alex Haynes (2001-Pres.) 20
Mike Grant (1995-98) 20
UCF Career Touchdown Leaders
1. Willie English
(1989-91, 93) 38
2. David Rhodes (1991-94) 29
3. Gerod Davis (1992-95)
4. Bret Cooper (1989-92) 24
Daunte Culpepper (1995-98) 24
Giacone (1987, 89-90) 22
Mike Grant (1995-98) 22
8. Alex Haynes
Ted Wilson (21 (1983-86) 21
Doug Gabriel (2001-02)
Alex Closes In On 2,000
Alex Haynes needs just 35 yards to
reach the 2,000-yard plateau at UCF. Haynes currently has 1,965 career rushing
yards, sixth in school history.
Haynes is looking to become just the
sixth player in school history to run for 2,000 career yards.
1. Willie English (1989-91, 93) 3,131
2. Marquette Smith
3. Elgin Davis (1983-86) 2,170
4. Gerod Davis (1992-95)
5. Mark Giacone (1987, 89-90) 2,128
6. Alex Haynes (2001-Pres.)
Back-To-Back 1,000 Yard Seasons
Alex Haynes is looking to
become just the second running back in UCF history to rush for 1,000 yards in
back-to-back seasons in 2003. Last year, Haynes raced for 1,038 yards, the third
best figure in single-season school history.
Only Marquette Smith has
accomplished that feat with 1,511 rushing yards in 1995 and 1,058 yards in 1994.
Those totals rank Smith first and fourth respectively on the single-season
rushing list at UCF.
Haynes leads the team and ranks fifth in the MAC in
rushing with 79.0 yards per game.
Haynes On Doak Walker
The SMU Athletic Forum announced
the names of the 39 preseason candidates for the 2003 Doak Walker Award, awarded
annually to the nation’s top college running back.
Among the field of
candidates is UCF junior tailback Alex Haynes. The Orlando native rushed for
1,038 yards in 2002 becoming just the fifth back in school history to eclipse
the 1,000-yard mark.
The SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will
select eight semifinalists on November 19, and the Doak Walker Award National
Selection Committee will vote on the winner in late November. The National
Selection Committee consists of former NFL All-Pro and college All-America
running backs, print and electronic media members and selected special
Young Receivers Coming Of Age
coach Sean Beckton had to have a smile on his face after UCF’s win over Florida
Atlantic. Six wide receivers caught passes including two breakout performances
by a pair of his young pupils.
Sophomore Brandon Marshall, who saw time in nine games as a
true freshman in 2002, caught five passes for 104 yards including his first
career touchdown vs. the Owls. The 6-5 Winter Park product hauled in a 29-yard
scoring strike from Ryan Schneider while also making several cut backs on a
dazzling 44-yard reception, the longest of his career.
True freshman Mike Walker has quickly established himself as
one of the top play makers on the roster. The highly regarded recruit from
Orlando had scholarship offers from Miami
and Tennessee during the recruiting process before deciding on UCF. Walker
caught four passes for 104 yards including a 63-yard run-and-catch on a deep
The 104 receiving yards for both players were personal
bests. It also marked the 17th time in school history that two receivers have
gone over the 100-yard mark in the same game.
Putting Up With
UCF’s opponents are quickly finding out how important it is for the
Golden Knight defense to have a healthy Antoine Poe back in the lineup.
redshirt junior outside linebacker missed all of last season due to injury, but
has started 2003 with a bang.
In the season opener at Virginia Tech, Poe
finished with eight tackles including five for a loss. He also was awarded the
“Big Stick” of the week by the team for his tackle on Virginia Tech running back
Atlantic, Poe established a new career-high with nine tackles including his
first career two-sack game.
Welcome Back Stanford
the return of Stanford Rhule to the starting lineup last
Saturday at Syracuse. Rhule, who missed the first game of the year with a knee
injury, played in a reserve role in the second game of the year vs.
In the Syracuse game, Rhule led the team with 13 total tackles
including seven solo stops. Last season, Rhule ranked third in the MAC and led
UCF with 127 tackles.
Capers Enjoying Leading Role
loss of UCF’s two top receivers from a year ago, there were plenty of questions
on who would step up and be the go-to-guy for Ryan Schneider this season. Junior
speedster Tavaris Capers has quickly established himself as the No. 1 receiver
for the UCF aerial attack.
The 5-9 Miami native has tied his career-high
with nine receptions each in the first three games this season. In the season
opener at Virginia Tech, Capers caught nine passes for 76 yards and two
touchdowns. In the FAU game, Capers set a new career-best with 89 receiving
yards on nine receptions.
Capers ranks second in the nation and first in
the MAC with 9.0 receptions per game.
Where Have The Sacks
UCF lost its third-best player in school history in sacks when Elton Patterson was drafted in the 2003 NFL Draft
by the Bengals. Patterson recorded 30.5 career sacks including 9.5 last season.
In addition, the loss of junior defensive end Rashad Jeanty to academics forced
UCF to lose 15 sacks between the two from last year.
In 2003, the Golden
Knights have just three sacks in three games.
Beware Of “The
The UCF offensive line, dubbed as “The Moat”, has done an excellent
job in pass protection in 2003.
The Golden Knights lead the Mid-American
Conference with just three sacks allowed. All three sacks came in the
season-opener at Virginia Tech.
Slow Starting Knights
quarter has not been a good quarter for UCF in 2003. The Golden Knights have
failed to score in all three of their games in the first quarter this season.
UCF’s opponents have outscored the Knights 35-0.
UCF has failed to score
in the first quarter in four straight games dating back to last
UCF In The MAC
UCF leads the MAC in five different
statistical categories. The Golden Knights rank first in the conference in sacks
allowed (three), net punting (47.0), passing yards per game (Ryan
Schneider/328.0), receptions per game (Tavaris Capers/9.0) and punting (Matt
Luther’s An All-Around Talent
receiver Luther Huggins has shown his versatility this
season for the Golden Knights. The Miami native leads the team and ranks third
in the MAC with 139.0 all-purpose yards per game.
Huggins ranks second on
the team with 11 receptions for 167 yards (15.2 per catch) and one touchdown. He
also is first on the club with 12 kick returns for 250 yards (20.8 per return.)
Scouting Kent State
Kent State enters this weekend’s game with
a 2-2 record including a 1-0 mark in the Mid-American Conference. The Golden
Flashes defeated Akron 41-38 in the season opener and Youngstown State 16-13.
Kent State lost to a pair of Keystone State powers in Pittsburgh (43-3) and at
Penn State (32-10).
Kent State ranks near the bottom in the nation in
both total offense and defense. The Golden Flashes are 88th nationally in total
offense (318 ypg) and 97th in defense (418.3). The Golden Flashes average just
17.5 points per game while they have allowed 31.5 points per game.
team revolves around junior quarterback Joshua Cribbs. The dual-threat
quarterback has the ability to attack defenses on the ground and through the
air. In his first two seasons at quarterback, Cribbs has passed and ran for
1,000 yards each season. The Maryland
native was injured early last week at Penn State and his injury status has not
been released yet for this week’s game vs. UCF.
Kent State Head Coach
Dean Pees is in his sixth season as head coach of the Kent
State football program.
Just two years ago, Pees led Kent State to a
dramatic turnaround, finishing 6-5 for its first winning season in 14
Pees finished second in the MAC Coach-of-the-Year voting for his
effort in leading Kent State in 2001.
The 1972 graduate of Bowling Green
has also coached at Michigan
State, Notre Dame, Toledo, Navy and Miami (Ohio).
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