UCF Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

UCF Knights
Conference USA


Central Florida had a fantastic season in 2012.  It is a bounce-back year for the Knights who went a surprising 5-7 in 2011 after a 9-3 season in 2010.  UCF took Conference USA by storm and won conference games pretty handily.  They started 2-2 and then rattled off six straight before losing their only conference game to Tulsa.  Their other two losses?  To Ohio State and Missouri, two AQ schools with quality players.  In the Conference USA championship game they got a rematch with Tulsa and they were not quite able to avenge their narrow two point loss.

2012 Record: 9-4, 7-1
Coach: George O’Leary
Coach Bowl Record: 3-5

Big Wins: 11/3 East Carolina (40-20), 11/3 SMU (42-17)
Bad Losses: 9/29 Missouri (16-21), 11/17 at Tulsa (21-23)

Everything for UCF started on defense.  They were first or second in the conference in most defensive categories.  Led by defensive back Kemal Ishmael, who had 116 tackles, UCF was stifling against receivers.  They only allowed 223 yards per game through the air.  The defense picked off 10 passes for the season.  Their bread was buttered by locking down defensively when it counted.  They held opponents out of the end zone to the tune of just 21 points per game.  Offensively, they had a lot of production from Latavius Murray.  Murray was their number one running back and had 14 touchdowns.  He had a whopping 6.2 yards per carry.  That is easily the best rushing average in the conference.  Quarterback Blake Bortles has been on point with 22 touchdowns and just seven picks.  His offensive line has helped him.  He does not get sacked very often.  The Knights are also one of the better teams in the conference in terms of turnover margin.  They are 18th in the nation.  Most certainly, that has helped their scoring totals.

The weakest part of UCF’s game comes on the offensive side of the ball.  Bortles has had a good year, but as a team the Knights only average 224 yards per game passing.  That has put a damper on their offensive yardage totals.  They are in the bottom half of the conference with just 406 yards per game.  They do not get much production out of their receivers.  J.J. Worton leads Rannell Hall by just five yards receiving with 562.  Each only has four touchdowns on the year.  Despite Bortles high touchdown number, he tends to spread the ball around rather than find a go-to guy.  They could use a big game from one of their outside pass catchers if they want win their bowl game.  The running game could use a little depth behind Murray.  Eleven other players have run the ball this season, but none very effective.  Storm Johnson is the next leading rusher with 457 yards.  Their defense has been great, but if there was an area for improvement it would be in pressuring the quarterback at least in terms of taking him down.  They average less than two sacks per game.  They only have a total of 22 for the season.  

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Latavius Murray, RB, 1,035 yards
Passing: Blake Bortles, QB, 2,787 yards
Receiving: J.J. Worton, WR, 562 yards
Tackles: Kemal Ishmael, S, 116
Sacks: Troy Davis, DE, 6.5
Interceptions: Kemal Ishmael, S, 3; A.J. Bouye, CB, 3

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 182.25 (45th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 224.33 (70, 8)
Total Offense: 406.58 (61, 7)
Scoring Offense: 35.92 (16, 2)
Rushing Defense: 151.75 (51, 5)
Pass Defense: 223.17 (45, 2)
Total Defense: 374.92 (42, 2)
Scoring Defense: 21.58 (26, 1)
Turnover Margin: .83 (18, 2)
Sacks: 1.83 (70, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 1.67 (49, 3)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2010    Liberty Bowl        Georgia (10-6)
2009    St. Petersburg Bowl    Rutgers (24-45)
2007    Liberty Bowl        Mississippi State (3-10)
2005    Hawaii Bowl        Nevada (48-49)

*all team stats through 11/24


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