2014 UCF Knights football team
|2014 UCF Knights football|
American Athletic Co–Champions
|Conference||American Athletic Conference|
|2014 record||9–4 (7–1 The American)|
|Head coach||George O'Leary (11th year)|
|Offensive coordinator||Charlie Taaffe (6th year)|
|Offensive scheme||Pro Style, Option|
|Defensive coordinator||Tyson Summers (1st year)|
|Home stadium||Bright House Networks Stadium (Capacity: 45,323)|
|2014 American Athletic Conference football standings|
|#25 Memphis +||7||–||1||10||–||3|
Rankings from AP Poll
The 2014 UCF Knights football team represented the University of Central Florida in the 2014 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Knights were members of the American Athletic Conference (The American), and played their home games at Bright House Networks Stadium on UCF's main campus in Orlando, Florida. The Knights were led by head coach George O'Leary, who was in his eleventh season with the team.
The 2014 season was UCF's second as a member of The American. UCF set a program mark with its first undefeated home record since moving into Bright House Networks Stadium in 2007. On November 1, Connecticut snapped UCF's 11-game undefeated conference winning streak. The Knights were 8–0 in American Athletic Conference play in 2013, and won their first three conference games in 2014 to sit at 11–0 up to that point.
After a last-second loss to Penn State in the Croke Park Classic on opening day, the Knights lost to Missouri, eventual winners of the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division. The Knights won nine of their next ten games, and became bowl eligible in mid-November. UCF clinched a share of the conference title on December 4 by virtue of a 51-yard Hail Mary touchdown as time expired at East Carolina. Over two years, UCF is 15-1 in American Conference play. The Knights finished the regular season unranked, but received votes in both the AP and Coaches polls. They finished their season against NC State in the St. Petersburg Bowl, where they lost 34–27.
|2014 UCF Knights coaching staff|
Supporting Strength & Conditioning Coach
|2014 UCF Knights roster|
|"2014 Football Roster". UCF Athletics Association. Retrieved 31 August 2016.|
The 2014 schedule was officially released by The American on February 12, 2014. The 2014 schedule was developed as a "bridge" schedule, until a permanent system was developed by the conference to address expanded membership and the creation of divisions by 2015. UCF faced eight conference opponents: Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, SMU, South Florida, Temple, Tulane, and Tulsa.
The Knights played four non-conference games: Penn State (Big Ten), Missouri (SEC), Bethune-Cookman (FCS), and BYU (IND). UCF had three bye weeks in the 2014 season: their first during week two, before facing Missouri, the second during week five, before facing Houston, and the third during week nine, before facing Tulsa. UCF's opener in Dublin, Ireland marked the first time that the team played outside the United States.
|August 30||8:30 AM||vs. Penn State*||Croke Park • Dublin, IRE (Croke Park Classic)||ESPN2||L 24–26||53,304|
|September 13||12:00 PM||at No. 20 Missouri*||Faurot Field • Columbia, MO||SECN||L 10–38||60,348|
|September 20||6:00 PM||No. 12 (FCS) Bethune-Cookman*||Bright House Networks Stadium • Orlando, FL||ESPN3||W 41–7||44,510|
|October 2||7:00 PM||at Houston||TDECU Stadium • Houston, TX||ESPN||W 17–12||26,685|
|October 9||7:30 PM||BYU*||Bright House Networks Stadium • Orlando, FL||ESPN||W 31–24 OT||41,547|
|October 18||12:00 PM||Tulane||Bright House Networks Stadium • Orlando, FL||ESPNU||W 20–13||35,015|
|October 25||5:00 PM||Temple||Bright House Networks Stadium • Orlando, FL||CBSSN||W 34–14||39,554|
|November 1||12:00 PM||at Connecticut||Rentschler Field • East Hartford, CT (Rivalry)||CBSSN||L 29–37||28,751|
|November 14||8:00 PM||Tulsa||Bright House Networks Stadium • Orlando, FL||ESPN2||W 31–7||35,323|
|November 22||12:00 PM||SMU||Bright House Networks Stadium • Orlando, FL||ESPNews||W 53–7||30,920|
|November 28||12:00 PM||at South Florida||Raymond James Stadium • Tampa, FL (I–4 Corridor Clash)||ESPN2||W 16–0||36,963|
|December 4||7:30 PM||at East Carolina||Dowdy–Ficklen Stadium • Greenville, NC (Rivalry)||ESPN||W 32–30||41,259|
|December 26||8:00 PM||vs. NC State*||Tropicana Field • St. Petersburg, FL (St. Petersburg Bowl)||ESPN||L 27–34||26,675|
|*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.|
- Date: August 30, 2014
- Game time: 8:30 AM EDT (1:30 PM IST)
- Game weather: 60 °F (16 °C), Cloudy
- Game attendance: 53,304
- Referee: Todd LaPenta (The American)
- TV announcers (ESPN2): Mike Patrick (play-by-play), Ed Cunningham (color commentator),
Jeannine Edwards (sideline reporter), and Kenny Mayne (reporter)
This was the fourth meeting between the Knights and Nittany Lions, with Penn State now holding a 3–1 record. UCF won the last meeting in 2013, 34–31. With both teams experiencing significant changes from the prior season, including both Blake Bortles and Storm Johnson who entered the 2014 NFL Draft, the two teams started slow. The Knights offense was anemic in the first half behind redshirt freshman Pete DiNovo. Once DiNovo was replaced by sophomore quarterback Justin Holman in the third quarter, UCF's offense quickly gained traction, starting with a 70-yard drive which culminated with a quarterback sneak into the end zone. The Knights and Nittany Lions traded scores, and down by six points with 3:30 remaining, Holman led the Knights on a 75-yard touchdown drive capped off by a six-yard run by the quarterback. Unfortunately, the quick scoring drive left enough time on the clock for Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg to get the Nittany Lions in field goal range. As time expired, Sam Ficken hit a 36-yard field goal which gave Penn State the 26–24 win.
The loss snapped UCF's nine game winning streak dating back to October 5, 2013 – the third longest active streak amongst FBS schools at the time. It was also the Knights first loss to an unranked team since December 1, 2012. For Penn State, the victory marked the first for new head coach James Franklin. This was also UCF's first game played outside the United States, and the 2014 Croke Park Classic became the highest-attended college football game ever played in Ireland.
After trailing 10–7 midway through the second quarter, the Tigers took control and scored 31 unanswered points to win 38–10. Mizzou quarterback Maty Mauk threw four touchdowns and one pick for 144 yards. UCF QB Justin Holman, earning his first career start, threw 209 yards and one touchdown. The Knights defense surrendered 322 yards of offense, 144 through the air and 178 on the ground. RB William Stanback had 33 yards on 15 carries, and WR Rannell Hall had 73 yards on 8 receptions. UCF and Mizzou had met once previously, a 2012 match-up in Orlando that Mizzou won 21–16. The loss marked UCF's first against a ranked team in its last three chances, and led to UCF's first 0–2 start since 2005.
The Knights started slow, trailing the Wildcats late in the first-quarter before UCF answered with 41 unanswered points. UCF had won the last game against Bethune-Cookman in 1995 with a score of 38-7. This victory marked the first win for the Knights this season, and the Knights now have an 11-5 winning record against the Wildcats. Quarterback Justin Holman 6-for-11 for 145 yards and two touchdowns. RB William Stanback rushed for a then-season-high 104 yards and two scores. Senior WR Breshad Perriman had 3 receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. UCF's defense held BCU to 173 total yards of offense behind five first-half sacks.
For the second consecutive year, the Knights won a close contest against the Cougars. UCF and Houston played five times previously, with UCF winning four games, including a 19–14 homecoming contest in 2013 that helped to secure UCF's first BCS bid. The Knights took a 7–6 lead into halftime, and scored two more times to take a 17–6 lead into the third quarter. Houston responded with two field goals to narrow the score to 17–12. After holding the Cougars to four field goals, UCF prevailed 17–12, capped off by a remarkable goal line stand in the final seconds. Brandon Alexander saved the game for the Knights when he hit Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr.'s arm and knocked the ball loss for a touchback as he dove and stretched for the end-zone pylon with 24 seconds left in the game. Holman was 6-of-8 for 101 yards and two scores, Stanback had 44 yards on 14 carries, and Perriman had one touchdown reception for 52 yards.
This was the second meeting between the program's, with the Cougars winning the only prior game 24–17 in 2011. After the injury to Taysom Hill in the previous game against Utah State, Christian Stewart started his first game for BYU at QB. The Knights defense proved tough as UCF sacked Stewart twice, forcing one fumble, and intercepting one of his passes. After the Knights opened a 10–3 lead going into the half, the Cougar's defense stopped UCF's offense from scoring on 8 consecutive possessions. The defense picked off two UCF passes and forced two UCF fumbles, allowing BYU to have the short field and take the lead in the third quarter. The defensive stand led to 21 unanswered points by BYU. Down 24–10 late in the third quarter, Holman led the Knights on two late drives to tie the game. With 10 minutes left, and after BYU jumped into the neutral zone, Holman found Josh Reese for a 37-yard touchdown pass to tie the game. With the opportunity to take the lead, UCF missed two late field goals in the fourth, forcing the game into overtime.
In overtime, William Stanback caught a 4-yard pass from Holman to give the Knights a 31–24 lead. The Knights defense stood strong, and for the second consecutive game won the match-up on a goal-line stand after stopping the Cougars on fourth down in the redzone.
This was the first meeting of Knights and Green Wave as members of The American. The two programs had met five times previously as members of C-USA, with UCF winning four including a 61–14 blowout in 2010. The Knights survived four turnovers – two fumbles and two interceptions – and 67 penalty yards to win the match-up. The game was a test of defenses, with the first score being a 21-yard field goal for Tulane by Andrew DiRocco with five minutes remaining in the first. The Knights responded with a 47-yard field goal by Shawn Moffit seven minutes later. UCF tacked on ten more points before the half, a rushing TD by RB William Stanback and a 30-yard field goal by Moffit. After the half, the Green Wave answered with a field goal. After being replaced in the second quarter by backup QB Nick Patti, Holman reentered the game in the second half and led UCF on a three-play 49-yard drive including a 45-yard touchdown pass to Breshad Perriman. Tulane scored the last points of the game with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter on a 9-yard rushing touchdown by Lazedrick Thompson.
The Knights dominated both facets of the game, outgaining Temple 466 to 182 yards. UCF had won the only previous meeting between the two programs in a dramatic 39–36 victory in 2013. The Knights scored quickly on a 25-yard pass from Justin Holman to JJ Worton and never looked back, taking a 17–0 lead on their first three drives. Holman was 25-of-39 for a season-high 336 yards and three touchdowns. William Stanback had two touchdowns on 94 yards, and senior WR Breshad Perriman had seven receptions for 146 yards. The Knights 446 yards were the most since the 556 yards gained against Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl.
UConn ended UCF's American conference win-streak at eleven games, handing the Knights their first regular season conference loss since November 2012 against Tulsa. This loss was also UCF's first to a team that finished the season not bowl eligible since September 2012 against Missouri. The Knights had won the only previous meeting between the two programs in a blowout 62–17 home victory in 2013. The victory was UConn's first against an FBS opponent in 2014. Justin Holman's four interceptions coupled with special team troubles spelled doom for UCF's effort to remain unbeaten in conference play for a second straight year. William Stanback had a season-high 141 rushing yards and two touchdowns. JJ Worton had eleven receptions for 178 yards, including a 73-yard touchdown pass from Holman in the third quarter – the Knights longest play from scrimmage this season.
This game marked the Knights' 50th at Bright House Networks Stadium. The Knights and Golden Hurricane had met seven previous times, all as members of Conference USA. The Golden Hurricane won five including the last game for the 2012 conference championship 33–27 in overtime. The Knights gained 501 yards of total offense and held the Golden Hurricane to 201 total yards. UCF also controlled the time of possession, 37 minutes to 23 minutes for Tulsa. Justin Holman was sixteen-of-twenty-seven for 291 yards and Dontravious Wilson rushed for 87 yards on 17 carries. Kickers Shawn Moffit and Sean Galvin were suspended for the game, with Rodrigo Quirarte taking over kicking duties and going one-for-three.
UCF dominated both sides of the ball in a 53–7 win. The victory marked the first time in over a decade that the Knights went a perfect 6–0 at home. UCF and SMU previously met six time, with UCF winning five including the last game which clinched The American's 2013 conference championship 17–13 in Dallas. The Knights defense held the Mustangs to four first downs and 116 total yards. The four touchdowns are the least UCF has ever allowed against an FBS opponent. QB Justin Holman was fifteen-of-twenty-two for 228 yards and two touchdowns. Senior LB Michael Easton had the Knights first kick return of the year in the second quarter, and senior WR JJ Worton had two receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown. UCF's defense forced five turnovers.
This was the sixth meeting of the I–4 Corridor Clash. South Florida won the first four games in the series, and UCF won the last meeting 23–20 in 2013. After a scoreless first quarter, Holman led the Knights on a 17-play, 80-yard scoring drive to open the second quarter. The Knights held the Bulls offense to a three-and-out on the next series, which was followed by an 8-play, 73-yard scoring drive by UCF capped off by a 21-yard run from Rannell Hall. UCF held South Florida to 200 yards of total offense, 5 yards rushing, and forced three turnovers on downs. The Bulls missed a field goal and were not able to convert on three UCF turnovers. With the victory, UCF needed one more win to clinch a share of their second consecutive American conference championship. This was UCF's 14th straight win in a non-Saturday game and the first time in the rivalry that a team was shut out. The game was also the first time that South Florida was held scoreless at home in program history, and the first ever road shutout in a conference game for UCF.
UCF and East Carolina 12 games previously, with the Pirates holding 9–3 advantage in the series. UCF won the last meeting in 40–20 in 2012. Both teams entered with identical 8–3 records (UCF 6–1, ECU 5–2 American), with East Carolina looking to upset UCF's hope of winning a conference title. The Knight's defense proved strong, as East Carolina was held to fourteen rushing yards. After UCF took a 26–9 lead with 7:39 left in the third quarter, the Pirates scored 21 unanswered to take a 30–26 lead with 2:17 left in the game. The Knights turned the ball over on downs after failing to convert on 4th and 20 with 1:47 remaining. Poor clock management by the Pirates enabled the Knights to get the ball back at their own 35 with ten seconds left. UCF QB Justin Holman completed a 14-yard out route to WR Josh Reese with five seconds remaining. As time expired, Holman completed a 51-yard Hail Mary pass to WR Breshad Perriman for the score, giving the Knights a 32–30 win. Holman was eighteen-for-thirty-three for 274 yards and Stanback had 101 yards on 24 carries for two scores. With the victory, the Knights clinched a share of the American Athletic Conference title, earning the program's second consecutive conference championship, and fourth since 2007.
St. Petersburg Bowl
This will be UCF's third appearance in the St. Petersburg Bowl bowl. The Knights were defeated by Rutgers in 2009, and beat Ball State in 2012. UCF and NC State last met in a 2010 match-up won by the Wolfpack 28–21. After a 10-7 start midway through the second quarter, NC State took the lead 17-10 by halftime. NC State scored a 14-3 run which turned the game into a commanding 31-13 lead by the end of the 3rd quarter. After NC State kicked a field goal to turn the lead to 34-13, Justin Holman led a 4th quarter drive that gave UCF two touchdowns, both to Josh Reese, shortening the lead to 34-27. After the last touchdown, UCF attempted an on-side kick, but failed, sealing the game for the Wolfpack. Justin Holman was 23-for-53 for 291 yards and 3 touchdowns. Josh Reese, who was the Knight's game MVP, had 6 receptions for 75 yards and 3 touchdowns.
This loss snapped UCF's three bowl game winning streak, as well as UCF's two 10-win season streak, finishing the season only 9-4 (7-1).
Awards and milestones
Each year several publications release lists of their ideal "team". The athletes on these lists are referred to as All-Americans. The NCAA recognizes five All-American lists. They are the Associated Press (AP), American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Sporting News (TSN), and the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF).
- American Athletic Conference First Team: Clayton Geathers, Jacoby Glenn, Breshad Perriman, Terrance Plummer, William Stanback
- American Athletic Conference Second Team: Brandon Alexander, Jaryl Mamea, Thomas Niles, Torrian Wilson
American offensive player of the week
- October 13: Justin Holman
- December 8: Breshad Perriman
American defensive player of the week
- October 13: Terrance Plumer
- October 27: Jacoby Glenn
American special teams player of the week
- October 13: JJ Worton
- November 24: Michael Easton
- December 8: Shawn Moffit
- Tied-best regular season home record: 6–0
- Longest conference win steak: 11 games (2013–14)
- Most career points responsible for: Shawn Moffit, 304
Two former players were selected in the 2015 NFL Draft:
|1st||26||26||Breshad Perriman||Wide receiver||Baltimore Ravens|
|4th||10||109||Clayton Geathers||Safety||Indianapolis Colts|
This was the first time in program history that a Knight was picked in the first round in two consecutive years.
Additionally, one player signed as an undrafted free agent:
|Rannell Hall||Wide receiver||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
- "American Athletic Conference Announces 2014 Football Intraconference Matchups". American Athletic Conference. February 12, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
- "American Athletic Conference Announces 2014 Football Schedule". American Athletic Conference. March 11, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
- "Heartbreak in Dublin: UCF Loses to Penn State 26-24 Despite 3 TDs from Backup QB Holman". FOX News. August 30, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- Limón Romero, Iliana (August 30, 2014). "UCF Rally Falls Short, Knights Suffer 26-24 Loss to Penn State in Ireland". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- Johnson, Travis (August 30, 2014). "Penn State Football: Nittany Lion Defense Shows Versatility in Dublin". Centre Daily Times. State College. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- Ormiston, Brian (December 10, 2014). "Awards Season: UCF's Glenn Honored as the AAC's Co-Defensive Player of the Year". UCF Knights. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
- "2014 AP All-America Team, List". Associated Press. December 16, 2014. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
- Owens–Green, Shannon (November 23, 2014). "UCF Coach George O'Leary Laments Light Attendance for Seniors' Home Finale". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
- Hightower, Kyle (November 13, 2014). "Old Foes Tulsa, UCF Meet for 1st Time in American". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
- UCF receiver Breshad Perriman will enter the NFL Draft
- UCF CB Jacoby Glenn will enter 2015 NFL draft