West Virginia Game Notes
AP Photo/Scott Audette
AP Photo/Scott Audette

Posted Oct 27, 2003


ORLANDO - UCF (3-5) steps out of conference for the final time in 2003 vs. another BIG EAST foe in West Virginia (3-4) Saturday at Mountaineer Field. The Golden Knights have already faced Virginia Tech and Syracuse from the BIG EAST in 2003, with both losses coming on the road. Last week, UCF snapped a two-game losing streak with an impressive 31-13 win over Central Michigan at home. The victory was the ninth straight Homecoming win for the Golden Knights.

The Mountaineers earned their biggest win in school history with a 28-7 rout of #3 Virginia Tech last Wednesday in Morgantown. It was the highest-ranked team WVU has ever defeated. The Mountaineers welcome UCF for their Homecoming game this weekend.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Saturday with live coverage beginning at 11 a.m. on the UCF ISP Sports Network. The game will also air live on Sunshine Network with Rick Peckham and Brady Ackerman calling all of the action.

Series Notes
For the second straight week, UCF will face a first-time opponent in West Virginia Saturday. UCF will make its second appearance all-time in the state of West Virginia. Last season, Marshall topped UCF 26-21 in Huntington in the only other trip to the Mountain State.

The Golden Knights are 0-6 all-time vs. BIG EAST schools, including an 0-2 mark in 2003. Virginia Tech topped UCF 49-28 while Syracuse defeated the Knights 38-14 in the Carrier Dome.

West Virginia has a Florida presence with 10 Sunshine State natives on the roster.

Schneider Continues Historic Career
Ryan Schneider is moving quickly in the NCAA record books for career touchdown passes. The senior is second among active players in the NCAA with 81 career touchdowns.

NCAA Active TD Pass Leaders
1. Luke McCown, La. Tech 82
1. Philip Rivers, NC State 82
2. Ryan Schneider, UCF 81

Currently, Schneider is tied for 14th in the NCAA career record books with 81 touchdowns. Schneider is tied with former Purdue standout Drew Brees and Tennessee State’s Joe Adams. Rivers and McCown are now tied for 12th in NCAA history with 82 touchdown passes.

NCAA Career Passing TD Leaders
1. Ty Detmer (BYU) 121
2. Tim Rattay (La. Tech) 115
3. Danny Wuerffel (Florida) 114
4. Chad Pennington (Marshall) 100
5. Kliff Kingsbury (Texas Tech) 95
6. David Klinger (Houston) 91
7. Peyton Manning (Tennessee) 89
T8. Tim Lester (W. Michigan 87
T8. Troy Copp (Pacific) 87
T10. Chris Redman (Louisville) 84
T10. Jim McMahon (BYU) 84
T12. Luke McCown (La. Tech) 82
T12. Philip Rivers (NC State) 82
T14. Drew Brees (Purdue) 81
T14. Joe Adams (Tennessee St.) 81
T14. Ryan Schneider (UCF) 81

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 at Syracuse Sept. 20. The senior quarterback is now 16th in NCAA history with 10,723 career passing yards. Schneider needs just 277 yards to become the 20th player in NCAA history to pass for 11,000 yards.

NCAA Career Passing Yard Leaders
1. Ty Detmer (BYU) 15,031
2. Tim Rattay (La. Tech) 12,746
3. Chris Redman (Louisville) 12,541
4. Kliff Klingsbury (Texas Tech) 12,429
5. Luke McCown (La. Tech) 11,909
6. Philip Rivers (NC State) 11,900
7. Todd Santos (San Diego St.) 11,425
8. Carson Palmer (USC) 11,388
9. Tim Lester (Western Michigan) 11,299
10. Peyton Manning (Tennessee) 11,201
11. Eric Zeier (Georgia) 11,153
12. Alex Van Pelt (Pittsburgh) 10,913
13. Drew Brees (Purdue) 10,909
14. David Neill (Nevada) 10,903
15. Danny Wuerffel (Florida) 10,875
16. Ryan Schneider (UCF) 10,723
17. Chad Pennington (Marshall) 10,698
Active players in bold

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 81 career touchdown passes, Schneider is just three touchdowns shy of Culpepper’s mark of 84.

Schneider is also third among active players in career passing yards with 10,723. Schneider needs 690 passing yards to eclipse Culpepper as UCF’s all-time leader in passing yards.

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 (11/1/97).

In career pass attempts, Schneider is now second in school history with 1,310 attempts. He now trails Culpepper for first by 81 attempts.

UCF Record Book
Career Pass Completions
1. Daunte Culpepper (1995-98) 889
2. Ryan Schneider (2000-pres.) 813

Career Attempts
1. Daunte Culpepper (1995-98) 1,391
2. Ryan Schneider (2000-pres.) 1,310

Career Yards
1. Daunte Culpepper (1995-98) 11,412
2. Ryan Schneider (2000-pres.) 10,723

Career Touchdown Passes
1. Daunte Culpepper (1995-98) 84
2. Ryan Schneider (2000-pres.) 81

Career 300-yard games
1. Daunte Culpepper (1995-98) 15
1. Ryan Schneider (2000-pres.) 15

Career 400-yard games
1. Daunte Culpepper (1995-98) 3
1. Ryan Schneider (2000-pres.) 3

The Streak Continues
With two touchdown passes vs. Central Michigan, it marked the 27th straight game that Ryan Schneider has thrown a touchdown pass.

Earlier in the year, he broke Daunte Culpepper’s school record of a touchdown pass in 22 consecutive games.

The last time Schneider failed to throw a touchdown pass was Sept. 8, 2001, at Syracuse.

All Good Things Come To An End
After scoring in 209 consecutive games, UCF was held scoreless at Ohio (28-0). The last time UCF was shutout prior to the Ohio game was Nov. 3, 1984 when Indiana State won 38-0.

Over the 209-game streak, UCF scored 6,226 total points and averaged 29.8 points per game. Only 12 times over the 209 game streak did UCF fail to score at least 10 points in a game. The lowest point total over the streak was six, which occurred seven times.

UCF Returns To Form Last Week
UCF put together a 60-minute effort last week vs. Central Michigan and it showed. The Golden Knights established season-highs in touchdown rushes (2), total plays (80), first downs (28) and recorded their second-highest point total in the 31-13 win over the Chippewas.

The UCF defense also played one of its best games, limiting the Chippewas to just 13 points and 316 total yards.

The 18-point margin of victory was also the largest of the season for UCF.

Schneider To Capers
Junior wide receiver Tavaris Capers was one of the happiest Golden Knights to see quarterback Ryan Schneider back behind center last week at Akron.

In the six games Schneider has played in this season, Capers has caught 53 passes, an average of 8.8 per game. Capers caught nine passes in each of the first four games of the year while hauling in nine last week vs. Central Michigan.

For the two-game stretch Schneider did not play vs. Buffalo and Ohio, Capers caught just four passes.

With Schneider at quarterback, Capers has averaged 78.5 yards per game and caught seven touchdowns. In the two games without Schneider, Capers averaged just 18.5 yards per game with no touchdowns.

Running Game Key In Buffalo Win
UCF totaled 298 rushing yards in its 19-10 victory over Buffalo. The 298 yards rushing were the most in a home game for UCF during Mike Kruczek’s six-year tenure as head coach.

The Golden Knights totaled 55 rushes for 298 yards, an average of 5.4 yards per carry. Three players rushed for over 40 yards, including Alex Haynes (165), Jon Rivera (89) and Dee Brown (43). It marked the first time all season UCF had three players rush for over 40 yards.

Running Into The Record Books
For the first time under head coach Mike Kruczek, UCF rushed for over 200 yards in a half vs. Buffalo. The 201 rushing yards in the first half also marked just the fifth game during the Kruczek era that UCF totaled over 200 rushing yards as a team.

The Golden Knights totaled a Citrus Bowl record under Kruczek of 298 rushing yards.

Last week vs. Central Michigan, UCF went over the 200-yard mark rushing for the sixth time under Kruczek with 209 rushing yards.

Most Rushing Yards Under Kruczek
Date Opponent Yards
11/13/99 at Middle Tenn. St. 323
10/4/03 Buffalo 298
11/16/02 Kent State 246
10/31/98 Youngstown State 228
10/13/01 Liberty 216
10/25/03 Central Michigan 209

Youth Is Served
Except for Ryan Schneider and his 36 career starts, the majority of the UCF two-deep roster is young on game experience and career starts. Only three seniors start on offense and two on defense.

On offense, linemen Kyle Watkins and David Ashkinaz both made their 17th and 20th career starts respectively last week vs. Central Michigan. Both players were junior college transfers to the UCF program.

On defense vs. the Chippewas, defensive tackles Larry Brown, DeMarcus Johnson and defensive end Brent Bolar were the only senior starters. Brown has 18 career starts to his credit while Johnson has started 12 games over his two-year career. Bolar has been the starter six times during his UCF career.

Prater Punts His Way Into History
Entering the season, there were plenty of questions on who would replace all-MAC punter Ryan Flinn. The Golden Knights went to the junior college ranks to bring in Scott Sevin while redshirt freshman Kris Kessler also was on the roster.

Special teams coach Joe Robinson instead turned to sophomore placekicker Matt Prater, who handled field goal and kickoff duties a year ago.

Prater made Robinson look like a genus after using a rugby-style punt in 2003. Prater has twice broken the school record for punting average per game, including last week’s record-setting performance at Ohio.

Prater boomed seven punts for 403 yards, good for a school-record average of 57.6 yards per punt. Prater held the school record with a 55.7 yards per punt average after the season opener at Virginia Tech.

At Ohio, Prater kicked a 74-yard punt, the second longest in school history.

In the Central Michigan game, the Ray Guy Award watch list nominee kicked three punts for an average of 57.7 yards. It was the third game this season Prater has averaged over 50 yards per punt in a game.

Longest Punts In UCF History
1. Glenn McCombs 77
10/29/83 vs. Austin Peay
2. Matt Prater 74
10/11/03 at Ohio
3. Matt Prater 71
8/31/03 at Virginia Tech

Prater’s Top Games
Punts-Yards-Average Opponent
3-173-57.7 Central Michigan
7-403-57.6 at Ohio
3-173-55.7 at Virginia Tech

On This Date
UCF is 2-1 all-time on the first day of November. The last time UCF played on Nov. 1, the Golden Knights lost 45-41 to La.-Monroe.

UCF’s two wins on this date came in 1986 and 1980. The Golden Knights defeated VMI 38-9 in 1986 and Catawaba 14-12 in 1980.

The Deuce Is Loose
Redshirt freshman tailback Dontavius Wilcox has had back-to-back career days for UCF in the last two weeks.

After rushing for a career-high 43 yards at Akron, Wilcox carried the ball 17 times for 77 yards and a touchdown vs. Central Michigan.

Wilcox is now the second leading rushing on the team with 31 carries for 131 yards and three touchdowns.

Alex’s Career Day
Alex Haynes established new career-highs with 30 carries for 165 yards in UCF’s 19-10 victory over Buffalo. Haynes was the first UCF running back since 1995 to carry the ball 30 times in a game.

The last time a Golden Knight toted the ball 30 times, Marquette Smith rushed 39 times for 203 yards vs. Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 4, 1995.

Haynes broke his previous personal best of 156 yards he rushed for in 2002 at Miami (Ohio). He also broke his attempts record after his previous best was 27 carries last year vs. Ohio.

The 30 attempts vs. Buffalo put Haynes sixth on the all-time, single-game rushing attempts list at UCF. Marquette Smith’s 39 carries vs. Bethune-Cookman in 1995 is the school record.

Haynes Reaches The 2,000-Yard Club
With 54 rushing yards at Kent State, Alex Haynes became the sixth running back in school history to rush for 2,000 yards.

Haynes is third in school history with 2,301 yards.

UCF Career Rushing Leaders
1. Willie English (1989-91, 93) 3,131
2. Marquette Smith (1994-95) 2,569
3. Alex Haynes (2001-Pres.) 2,301

Haynes Continues To Hit Pay Dirt
Alex Haynes has scored at least one touchdown in nine of the last 14 games he has played in.

Haynes is tied for sixth in school history with 22 career touchdowns scored. He is also fourth in school history with 21 career rushing touchdowns.

UCF Career Rushing TD Leaders
1. Willie English (1989-91, 93) 38
2. Daunte Culpepper (1995-98) 24
3. Mark Giacone (1987, 89-90) 22
4. Alex Haynes (2001-Pres.) 21

UCF Career Touchdown Leaders
1. Willie English (1989-91, 93) 38
2. David Rhodes (1991-94) 29
3. Gerod Davis (1992-95) 25
4. Bret Cooper (1989-92) 24
4. Daunte Culpepper (1995-98) 24
6. Mark Giacone (1987, 89-90) 22
6. Mike Grant (1995-98) 22
6. Alex Haynes (2001-Pres.) 22

Reaching The Century Mark
Alex Haynes rushed for 103 yards on 20 carries in UCF’s 31-13 win over Central Michigan. Haynes is third in school history with 10 100-yard games.

UCF Career 100-Yard Rushing Games
1. Willie English (1989-91, 93) 15
2. Marquette Smith (1994-95) 13
3. Alex Haynes (2001-Pres.) 10

Adding Up The Carries
Alex Haynes leads the team with 129 rushing attempts in 2003 and has moved into the top three in career rushing attempts at UCF.

UCF Career Rushing Attempts
1. Willie English (1989-91, 93) 606
2. Elgin Davis (1983-86) 485
3. Alex Haynes (2001-Pres.) 474

What A Difference Schneider Makes
It has been a tale of two seasons for the UCF offense with Ryan Schneider in the starting lineup. The senior quarterback missed two games with a shoulder injury. UCF went 1-1 without Schneider, defeating Buffalo 19-10 and losing 28-0 at Ohio.

With Schneider Without
PPG 24.3 9.5
Passing Yds./G 297.7 81.5
Total Offense/G 392.8 227.5
3rd down % 42% 17%
TD Passes 12 0

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 36-28 and has finished with a winning record in four of the five years he has been head coach at UCF.

Of Kruczek’s 28 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 and 1979.

Wild Knights!
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.

Robinson, 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’s 67-yard punt in the first quarter tied for the sixth-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 third longest punt in school history.

The Wild Knights also blocked a 21-yard field goal attempt when Paul Carrington swatted away the Hokie attempt.

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 punt.

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.

At Kent State, UCF blocked its third kick of the year when Antoine Poe blocked a field goal.

In the Buffalo game, the return game was impressive as Tavaris Capers returned a punt 52 yards for a touchdown while Luther Huggins had a 68-yard kickoff return.

At Ohio, Prater set a new school record with an average of 57.6 yards per punt, including a 74-yard punt, the second longest in school history.

The excellent play continued at Akron as Peter Sands blocked a field goal attempt by the Zips while Luther Huggins returned two kickoffs for 93 yards.

In the Central Michigan game, Prater averaged 57.7 yards per punt in three attempts and also booted a 31-yard field goal.

True Freshmen In 2003
Five true freshmen have played for the Golden Knights in 2003. Renford Parkes is the only member of the class who will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

Two wide receivers have seen action in Mike Walker and Brooks Turner. Walker was sensational vs. Florida Atlantic, finishing with four catches for 104 yards.

Fullback Evandall Williams has also seen time along with cornerback Ron Ellis.

Putting Up With Poe
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.

The 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 Kevin Jones.

Against Florida Atlantic, Poe established a new career-high with nine tackles including his first career two-sack game.

Poe shattered his personal-best with 16 tackles at Kent State. Poe also blocked a field goal, recovered a fumble and had one tackle-for-loss vs. the Golden Flashes.

The outside linebacker also recorded UCF’s first interception of the season last week vs. Central Michigan. UCF was the only team in Division I football without an interception prior to the Central Michigan game.

Capers Enjoying Leading Role
With the 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 five times 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.

Last week vs. Central Michigan, Capers caught nine passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns.

Cape In The Record Books
With seven touchdown receptions this season, Tavaris Capers is just one touchdown shy of moving into eighth-place on the single-season touchdown reception list at UCF.

Capers also owns 13 career touchdown catches, leaving him two shy of the top 10 list for career touchdown receptions at UCF.

Luther Leads The Way
Junior wide receiver Luther Huggins leads the MAC and ranks 18th in the nation in kickoff returns with an average of 26.85 yards per return.

Huggins has returned two kicks over 60 yards this season.

Huggins is also third on the team with 246 receiving yards and is averaging 101 all-purpose yards per game.

Scouting West Virginia
West Virginia brings a record of 3-4 into Saturday’s game vs. UCF. The Mountaineers owns victories over East Carolina (48-7), Rutgers (34-19) and #3 Virginia Tech (28-7). WVU has lost to Wisconsin (24-17), Cincinnati (15-13), Maryland (34-7) and #2 Miami (22-20).

The huge upset victory last week of Virginia Tech is the biggest win in school history for the Mountaineers. WVU also led #2 Miami 20-19 late in the fourth quarter, before the Hurricanes hit a game-winning field goal with under 15 seconds remaining in the game.

Winners of two straight games, the Mountaineers boast one of the nation’s top rushing attacks.

Senior running back Quincy Wilson is the nation’s 12th leading rusher, averaging 115.7 yards per game. Last week in the 28-7 win over Virginia Tech, Wilson carried the ball 33 times for 178 yards and a touchdown.

WVU’s rushing attack is the nation’s 13th ranked unit, averaging 207 yards per game on the ground.

The passing game has yet to catch up to the rushing attack. The Mountaineers rank 106th nationally in passing offense, averaging just 148.9 yards per game.

Defensively, West Virginia ranks 22nd in the NCAA in scoring defense. The Mountaineers have yielded 18.3 points per game and have allowed one offensive touchdown in two games to Virginia Tech and Miami.

WVU is fifth in the nation in turnover margin (1.43).

WVU Head Coach Rich Rodriguez
West Virginia’s Rich Rodriguez, a 1986 WVU graduate, is in his third season as head coach of the Mountaineers, after four years as offensive coordinator at Clemson and Tulane. His WVU record is now 15-16.

From 1988-96, he was an NAIA head coach at Salem (one season) and Glenville State (seven seasons), posting a 45-36-2 record.

He was inducted October 5 into the Glenville Hall of Fame. His career record as a college coach is 60-52-2.

Rodriguez is the 31st football coach
all-time at West Virginia and the 10th to coach at his alma mater.

He is the first West Virginia graduate to coach the Mountaineer football team since Gene Corum was the head man for six seasons in Morgantown from 1960-65.



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