UCF Football 2013 Bowl Capsule

UCF Knights


Central Florida is on its way to a BCS bowl. Even before the Knights played their final game against SMU, they had clinched their berth in the BCS series of bowl games. By beating the Louisville Cardinals back on October 18, UCF secured a tiebreaker over the Cardinals, but they did not need it. The BCS bowl is a culmination to a fantastic season had by Central Florida. A three-point loss to South Carolina back in September when Carolina was ranked 12th in the nation is nothing to be ashamed of. It was the lone blemish on an otherwise sparkling season resume for Coach George O'Leary and the Knights.

2013 Record: 11-1, 8-0
Coach: George O’Leary
Coach Bowl Record: 4-5

Big Wins: 10/18 at Louisville (38-35), 11/9 Houston (19-14)
Bad Losses: 9/28 South Carolina (25-28)

In their big win at Louisville, the Knights did well at what they were good at all year: running the football with Storm Johnson. In that game, the junior running back ran for 106 yards on 18 carries. The team as a whole averaged 6.1 yards per carry. That game sent Johnson off this season to vastly eclipsing his yardage and touchdown totals from his previous two seasons combined. Prior to this year, Johnson had just 122 career carries. His junior year was really his coming-out party. Oddly enough though, UCF had a better passing offense than rushing offense overall. Led by quarterback Blake Bortles and a number of quality receiving options (three different receivers topped 600 yards), the Knights ranked near the top of the nation in passing efficiency. And their defense was equally as stout, especially against the run and in the red zone. With the exception of the South Carolina game, when star running back Mike Davis ran all over them to the tune of 167 yards and three touchdowns, UCF didn't allow much on the ground.

The second half was the problem against South Carolina back on September 28. UCF actually led that game 10-0 at halftime. The third quarter saw USC score 14 unanswered points to take the lead, and they scored 14 more in the fourth quarter on their way to victory. QB Blake Bortles was very good in this contest. And while Storm Johnson was serviceable, he got no help at all in the running game. All year long, that was a problem for UCF. They didn't have much of a rushing attack after Johnson. The junior back accounted for nearly 50 percent of the team's total rushing yardage, and he scored 11 of their 24 touchdowns on the ground. Not even USC's great Mike Davis approached those figures for his team. It didn't help that the team struggled to get ahead of the sticks on first downs and was very poor at converting fourth down attempts. In the end, Central Florida had a great season by any standards but probably benefited greatly from the overall weakness of the American Athletic Conference on their way to a BCS bowl.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Storm Johnson, RB, 1,015 yards
Passing: Blake Bortles, QB, 3,280 yards
Receiving: Rannell Hall, WR, 773 yards
Tackles: Terrance Plummer, LB, 96
Sacks: E.J. Dunston, DL, 3.0; Thomas Niles, DL, 3.0
Interceptions: 6 tied with 2

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 157.1 (76th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 283.5 (27, 5)
Total Offense: 440.5 (45, 4)
Scoring Offense: 34.6 (30, 2)
Rushing Defense: 120.0 (15, 4)
Pass Defense: 229.4 (61, 4)
Total Defense: 349.4 (18, 3)
Scoring Defense: 20.2 (17, 4)
Turnover Margin: 0.6 (23, 3)
Sacks: 2.09 (56, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 1.91 (59, 2)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2012    Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl    Ball State (38-17)
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 11/30


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