Friday, November 26, 2010

FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Tigers vs. UCF

Posted By on Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Saturday, Liberty Bowl, 11 a.m.

• Twenty-one Memphis seniors will be honored Saturday as part of the annual Senior Day tribute. (Those who started a game this season are listed in bold.) Marcus Ball, Winston Bowens, Keenan Bratcher, Charlie Bryant, Darius Davis, D.A. Griffin, Jamon Hughes, Kindly Jacques, Colton Jenkins, Malcolm Jones, Lester Lawson, Jeremy Longstreet, Stevie Matthews, John McArthur, Deven Onarheim, Brad Paul, Torenzo Quinn, Gregory Ray, Dominik Riley, Justin Thompson, Bryan Wright.

• Over the last 10 years, the Tigers are 6-4 on Senior Day. Memphis lost to UAB last year, 31-21.

UCF_Knights.gif

• Since joining Conference USA in 2005, UCF has twice played for the league championship. The Knights lost to Tulsa, 44-27, in 2005, then beat the Golden Hurricane two years later, 44-25. With a win at the Liberty Bowl, UCF would host this year’s title game on December 4th. Should SMU win at East Carolina, the Mustangs will face the Knights for the championship. An SMU loss and a Tulsa win (over Southern Miss) would send the Golden Hurricane to the finale.

• UCF enters Saturday’s game with a record of 8-3 (6-1 in C-USA play). The Knights have won six of their last seven games, the only loss being a 31-21 defeat at Southern Miss on November 13th. UCF’s other two losses came in September, against North Carolina State and Kansas State.

• Despite sporting the best record in C-USA, UCF is only seventh in the league in total offense (393.5 yards per game). The Knights have the top-ranked defense, though, allowing only 320.3 yards and 19.1 points per game. Memphis ranks last in total offense (284.1) and 11th in total defense (470.2).

• UCF tailback Ronnie Weaver is third in C-USA in rushing with 853 yards.

• Based on the Knights’ performance last week at Tulane, the Tigers should expect a heavy ground attack. UCF ran the ball 43 times against the Green Wave and passed only 15 times in a blowout 61-14 victory. UCF was up 31-0 at the end of the first quarter. UCF is second in the league in rushing offense (204.9 yards per game) and 11th in passing (188.5).

• The Tigers have lost five of six games against UCF, and have never beaten the Knights since they joined C-USA. The lone Memphis win came in 1990 at the Liberty Bowl. The Tigers have played UCF close at home, losing by two in 2006 and seven in 2008.

• Jamon Hughes’ 136 tackles are the most by a Tiger player since Glenn Sumter had 137 in 2001. With 12 tackles against UCF, Hughes would finish the season with the fourth-highest single-season total in school history. (Michael Thomas holds the record with 162 in 1980.)

• Freshman quarterback Ryan Williams has passed for 1,803 yards, more than Danny Wimprine had during his freshman season with Memphis (1,329 in 2001). Wimprine was a redshirt freshman, while Williams is playing as a true freshman.

• The Tiger offense had its second-most productive game last week at UAB with 331 yards. (Memphis gained 413 against East Carolina in the second game of the season). But the game marked the sixth time this season the Tiger defense has allowed more than 500 yards. The Blazers were the seventh straight team to gain at least 20 first downs against the Tigers.

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