UCF Rolls Past Central Michigan

AP Photo/Scott Audette

ORLANDO -- Behind tailback Alex Haynes and quarterback Ryan Schneider, the UCF Golden Knights used a balanced attack to defeat the Central Michigan Chippewas 31-13 at the Florida Citrus Bowl Saturday evening.

UCF (3-5 overall, 2-3 Mid-American Conference) started the game on the right note. A 49-yard kickoff return by Luther Huggins set up Haynes, who scampered 27 yards for UCF's first touchdown on an opening drive this year. Matt Prater's extra point put UCF up 7-0.

However, the turnover bug continued to bite the Golden Knights. After a Ryan Schneider interception deep in UCF territory, Central Michigan (2-6, 0-5 MAC) capitalized with a nine-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Derrick Vickers to running back Kenan Lawhorne. After a Chippewas' missed extra point, UCF led 7-6.

The Golden Knights opened the second quarter by scoring a touchdown as well. Schneider's 28-yard touchdown pass to junior wideout Tavaris Capers increased the Golden Knight lead to eight, 14-6. The touchdown pass extended Schneider's school record to 27 consecutive games with a touchdown pass.

Back came Central Michigan with a touchdown drive of its own. A 53–yard kickoff return by the Chippewas' Justin Harper led to a two-yard touchdown by tailback Terrence Jackson. UCF responded with a 13-play, 49-yard drive, capped off with a two-yard touchdown reception by Capers, his second of the game. At halftime, the Golden Knights led 21-13. The 21 points were the most that UCF has scored in a half this season.

After halftime, UCF started to grind the ball down the field. A 14-play drive covering 74 yards and taking 6:43 off the clock resulted in a 31-yard filed goal by Prater, extending UCF's lead to 24-13. The Golden Knights closed out the third quarter with a 79-yard drive, with freshman Dontavius Wilcox scoring from two-yards out. UCF's lead was 18 at 31-13 as the third quarter ended.

In the fourth quarter, with the Chippewas driving, the UCF defense came up big, stopping Central Michigan on fourth down at the UCF eight-yard line. The offense then turned the ball over to Wilcox, whose hard-nosed running helped the Golden Knights run the clock out. Wilcox finished the game with 77 yards and a touchdown.

Hayes ended his evening with 103 yards rushing and a touchdown, his second 100-yard game of the year and the tenth of his career. Schneider finished with 254 yards passing and two scores.

The Golden Knights finished the game with 461 total yards, 209 yards rushing and 252 yards passing, while holding the Chippewas to 316 yards of total offense.

The Golden Knights go back on the road next Saturday as they travel to Morgantown, W. Va. to take on West Virginia. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and will be televised on Sunshine Network.


UCF Game Notes
Central Michigan at UCF
Florida Citrus Bowl
October 25, 2003

UCF defeated Central Michigan 31-13 Saturday in Mid-American Conference action. The 18-point margin of victory was the largest margin of victory for UCF this season. The Golden Knights are now 3-5 and 2-3 in the MAC with the win.

UCF is now 17-7 all-time on Homecoming and has won nine straight Homecoming games, with the last loss coming in 1994 to Troy State (39-38).

For the third straight game, UCF totaled over 20,000 fans in attendance after Saturday's total of 20,523. The last time UCF opened a season with three consecutive games with a crowd of 20,000 or more was in 1998.

Redshirt junior offensive tackle Norm Lewis and senior wide receiver Da'Bar Fluellen made their first career starts for UCF.

Ryan Schneider tossed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Tavaris Capers to mark the 27th straight game he has thrown a touchdown pass. Schneider extended his own school record with the touchdown pass.

Capers tied a career-high with nine receptions. It was the fifth game this season Capers has caught nine passes. He finished the game with 84 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The two touchdowns also tied a career-best for Capers.

Schneider ended the game 25-for-32 for 254 yards and two touchdowns. He moved into 16th in NCAA history with 10,723 career passing yards, just ahead of former Marshall quarterback Chad Pennington (10,698). Schneider is also tied for 12th in NCAA history with 81 career touchdown passes. He is tied with former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees and Tennessee State's Joe Adams with the 81 touchdown passes.

Antoine Poe's fourth-quarter interception marked the first time in 2003 UCF has intercepted a pass.

For the first time in 2003, UCF scored a touchdown on its opening drive of the game as Alex Haynes scored on a 27-yard touchdown run.

UCF scored 21 points in the first half, the most points scored in a first half in 2003. The previous high in a first half this season was 14 points scored at Virginia Tech (Aug. 31) and vs. Florida Atlantic (Sept. 13).

Haynes moved into a tie for sixth place in school history with 22 career touchdowns after his first quarter touchdown run. Haynes is now tied with Mark Giacone and Mike Grant with 22 career scores.

Haynes moved into third place in school history with 20 rushing attempts vs. the Chippewas. Haynes moved past Daunte Culpepper and Marquette Smith in the record books and now has 474 career rushing attempts.

Haynes eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the 10th time in his career, becoming the third player in school history to total 10 or more career 100-yard games. Haynes finished the game with 20 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown.

Haynes established career-highs in receptions (eight) and receiving yards (85) vs. Central Michigan. His previous career-high for receptions and yards came last season vs. Ohio (11/30/02). Haynes ended the Ohio game with six catches for 50 yards.

UCF is 57-16 all-time when a player rushes for over 100 yards in a game.

Dontavius Wilcox established career-highs in attempts (17) and rushing yards (77).

UCF Head Coach Mike Kruczek
On the defensive effort:
"I know we gave up 13 points, but seven of them were off of a turnover deep in our territory. The defense bent a little bit, but they [Central Michigan] had good running backs, and when it mattered most on that fourth-and-two, they stiffened up. That's an example of the commitment of this football team."

On this team:
"This team came together as a family. We're the only ones that can dig ourselves out of this hole; no one else can help us. This university can't, although we had tremendous support from the fans and students today. It was a great Homecoming, and we defended the turf once again."

On the running game:
"Both [Alex] Haynes and [Dontavius] Wilcox played outstanding. The great thing, besides the hard running, was the ball security. That ball didn't come out of their hands. If we can understand not to lose the ball, these are both talented running backs. Coming off of a slight injury, Alex ran the ball like the Alex of old. He exploded through the holes and even got around the corner a couple of times."

KnightsNews.com quick links:

5 Days Free!
Sample KnightsNews.com Total Access Pass at no risk for 5 days, then pay only $7.95 per month. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual KnightsNews.com Total Access Pass at $79.95. Along with your annual Total Access Pass, TheInsiders.com will throw in a subscription of the ESPN magazine. 

Click Here to Start your FREE Trial

Message Boards
Join in on the largest UCF Golden Knights community on the web.  Messages are posted here and this is the best place to interact with other fans.

KnightsDaily.com Recommended Stories

Up Next


5 Fans online
    Join The Conversation