Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Saturday, January 11, 2014

With Historic Win in Fiesta Bowl, Departure of QB Bortles and RB Johnson, #10 UCF Knights’ Future Bright

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 17:36


Despite being 17-point underdogs, the UCF Knights (12-1; 8-0 AAC) defeated the Bears of Baylor (11-2; 8-1 B12) 52-42 in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl in Glendale Arizona on January 1st. The Knights used a balanced attack on offense. And the Knights’ defense stifled the #1 offense in the history of college football. UCF’s offense put up 556 yards and its most-ever points against a ranked team, and showed they could pound the rock or beat the Bears through the air. Bortles threw two interceptions in the first half, but was efficient after halftime and completed 20 of 31 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns, adding 93 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Storm Johnson rushed for 124 yards and added three scores. The defense, meanwhile, held its own against an offense that was averaging 53.3 points and 624.4 yards, keeping Baylor to one of its lowest point outputs of the season. Its secondary limited the big plays and the pass rush did enough to bother Bears’ quarterback Bryce Petty.The win was definitely the biggest in UCF history. The Knights ended the season ranked #10 in the Associated Press poll and will also add two new players to the NFL rosters next year as both star quarterback Blake Bortles and key running back Storm Johnson announced they were leaving for the pros.

That leaves two of UCF’s very decent backup quarterbacks (Pete DiNovo and Justin Holman) vying for the top spot while Will Stanback will most likely continue to develop into UCF’s top running back. On Wednesday January 8th, the Fiesta Bowl win was celebrated big time! Close to 10,000 Knights’ fans were in-attendance at a pep rally held in CFE Arena that evening and cheered and chanted as UCF’s head coach George O’Leary talked about the historic nature of the win and the future of the program. Highlights of broken records among the Knights win against Baylor include:

• UCF set a school record for most wins with 12.

• The senior class earned the most wins of any in school history during a four-year stretch, going 38-15 for a .717 winning percentage.

• The Knights finished 7-0 on the road for the first time in school history.

• UCF earned its first wins over Big Ten (Penn State) and Big 12 (Baylor) teams.

• The Knights played in and won their first Bowl Championship Series game.

• UCF was the youngest school (1963) and football program (1979) to ever play in a BCS game.

• The Knights scored more points (52) than any other team facing Baylor this season.

• UCF entered the season with one win over a team ranked in top 25 polls. The Knights ended it with two more, topping No. 8 Louisville and No.
6 Baylor.

• The Knights were ranked No. 15 in the final BCS standings, the highest position in UCF history.

• UCF will likely record the school’s highest ranking ever when the final top 25 polls are released later this week.

• Kicker Shawn Moffitt finished with 21 made field goals and had a 91.3 percent accuracy rate (21-of-23), which are both school records.
Moffitt also tied the school mark by going 49-of-49 on extra points.

• Blake Bortles had one of the stronger season ever by a UCF quarterback, finishing with 25 touchdowns (tied 5th), 259 completions (4th), 382
attempts (7th), 67.8% completion percentage (5th), 3581 yards (3rd) and 163.3 efficiency (2nd).

*- Note: Excerpts from this BLOGBOARD Post courtesy Orlando Sentinel.

Below, check out highlights of UCF’s win over Baylor in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl, courtesy of ESPN:

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