UCF Knights To Open American Athletic Conference Play Saturday Against East Carolina
By UCF Knights // September 27, 2016
Both teams enter the contest at 2-2
ABOVE VIDEO: It was all UCF all night as McKenzie Milton leads the Knights to a 53-14 victory over in-state rival FIU and picks up his first career victory as a starting QB
ORLANDO, FLORIDA –UCF and East Carolina will square off for the 15th time Saturday in Greenville, N.C.
Both teams enter the contest at 2-2 with the non-conference portions of their schedules complete. The Knights hold victories over South Carolina State and FIU, while the Pirates were victorious over Western Carolina and North Carolina State.
Saturday’s game marks the first American Athletic Conference game of the 2016 season for both squads.
East Carolina features The American’s top-rated offense, averaging nearly 524 yards per game. Meanwhile, the Knights boast the No. 3 defense in the conference, allowing just more than 300 yards per game.
While the Pirates have had success moving the ball, they are only ninth in the conference in scoring, averaging 29.2 points per game. Similarly, UCF is limiting opponents’ yardage production, but ranks No. 8 in scoring defense, allowing 23.8 points per game.
Saturday’s contest is the second of two consecutive road games for the Knights. UCF will return home for two straight at Bright House Networks Stadium after ECU.
Saturday marks the 15th meeting between ECU and UCF on the gridiron. The Pirates lead the all-time series 10-4. However, three of UCF’s four victories have come in the last five meetings.
Last year’s game saw East Carolina roll to a 44-7 victory in Orlando.
ABOVE VIDEO: Now Baltimore Ravens WR then UCF Knight, Breshad Perriman’s incredible catch, as time expired vs. East Carolina to secure back-to-back American Championships will long live in Knights fan’s memories.
The last meeting in Greenville came in the final regular-season game of 2014. That game is simply known in UCF lore as Hail Perriman. UCF jumped out to a 26-9 lead.
ECU came back to take a 30-26 lead. As time ran out, Justin Holman launched one toward the end zone. Breshad Perriman came down with it. UCF won in miraculous fashion and clinched their second straight AAC Championship.
SCOUTING THE PIRATES
East Carolina features The American’s top-rated offense, averaging nearly 524 yards per game. While the Pirates have had success moving the ball, they are only ninth in the conference in scoring, averaging 29.2 points per game.
Senior Philip Nelson leads the offense with 1,457 passing yards and nine touchdowns. His top target is Zay Jones, who has 558 yards and one touchdown on the season.
Jimmy Williams has been the deep threat, averaging 26.8 yards per catch with three touchdowns.
Defensively, Jordan Williams anchors the Pirates with 25 tackles on the season, while Terrell Richardson (21) and Travon Simmons (20) each have eclipsed the 20-tackle mark. All together, ECU has only forced two turnovers this season.
LAST TIME OUT
UCF ripped off 45 unanswered points and rolled to a 53-14 victory over FIU Saturday night at FIU Stadium.
The Knights offense racked up 501 total yards of offense, the most since November 14, 2014 when they rolled to 506 total yards vs. Tulsa. Meanwhile, the UCF defense held FIU to just 11 first downs and 189 total yards. It was the second time UCF has held an opponent under 200 yards this season.
ABOVE VIDEO: Hear what head coach Scott Frost and select players had to say about the Knights’ upcoming conference opener against the ECU Pirates.
The Black & Gold’s running game was on point with senior running back Dontravious Wilson scoring three rushing touchdowns, the most since Storm Johnson had three in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against Baylor (Jan. 1, 2014), and freshman Adrian Killins accumulating 204 all-purpose yards.
All together, UCF scored six of its seven touchdowns on the ground, the most since running in eight versus Charleston Southern on Sept. 9, 2011.
Defensively, the Knights tallied five sacks with junior linebacker Shaquem Griffin leading the attack with a career high of two.
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