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Know the Foe: UCF

UCF quarterback Justin Holman has been hampered by various injuries during most of the Knights' 0-11 season.


UCF quarterback Justin Holman has been hampered by various injuries during most of the Knights' 0-11 season.



A look at UCF, which hosts USF on Thursday at Orlando's Bright House Networks Stadium

Nickname: Knights

Record: 0-11, 0-7 American Athletic Conference
Wins: None
Losses: vs. FIU, 15-14; at Stanford, 31-7; vs. Furman, 16-15; at South Carolina, 31-14; at Tulane, 45-31; vs. Connecticut, 40-13; at Temple, 30-16; vs. Houston, 59-10; at Cincinnati, 52-7; at Tulsa, 45-30; vs. East Carolina, 44-7

Coach: Danny Barrett* (first season, 0-4)

The breakdown: Few teams in recent Division I-A memory have plummeted as rapidly and profoundly as the Knights, who have been decimated by injuries and other forms of attrition since Day One. Collectively, the Knights have had 49 games missed by offensive starters or projected starters due to injury, and 31 by defensive starters (or projected starters). As a result, UCF has employed seven different starting offensive lines, and six different starting combinations in the secondary. Additionally, the Knights' 33 first-time starters this season is tied for the most nationally with (also-winless) Kansas. ... Among the battered Knights is junior QB Justin Holman (hand, ankle), who sustained a high-ankle sprain in last week's 44-7 loss to East Carolina but is expected to play Thursday. Holman, who lost essentially his entire receiving corps from last season, ranks 10th in the American Athletic Conference in passing (168.2 ypg). His top target, redshirt freshman Tre'Quan Smith, has established UCF freshman records for receptions (45) and yards (622). The run game, crippled when all-conference TB William Stanback was dismissed three games into the season, ranks last nationally (80.7 ypg). Leading rusher C.J. Jones has 329 yards -- 7 fewer than Bulls sophomore Marlon Mack has totaled in his last two games. Defensively, veteran coordinator Chuck Bresnahan -- dismissed from the same job at USF last December -- is almost certain to be job-hunting again this winter. His unit ranks 115th nationally (464.9 ypg) and is 126th in pass-efficiency defense (166.61).

Odds and ends: UCF ranks third in Division I-A for fewest seniors; only nine are set to be recognized before Thursday's season finale. ... Twelve of the 17 Knights who signed with the program in February have played, compared with seven of USF's 21 signees. ... Lakewood High alumnus Shaquill Griffin leads UCF with two interceptions. ... LT Aaron Evans, an Armwood alumnus, is the only offensive lineman who has started every game at his position.

Taggart's take: "I'm sure they're going through a lot, but they have some talent on their football team...and that talent's got to grow. We've been there before, but that's what you see on there, you see guys that are just trying to make it work. They're going through a tough situation right now."

*-interim coach

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 24, 2015 4:15pm]


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