Knights Overpower Bucs 62-0 in Season OpenerSeptember 3, 2011
by CSU Sports Information
ORLANDO, Fla. – Charleston Southern’s youth and inexperience was no match for the reigning Conference USA Champions, as the Knights of Central Florida (1-0) overpowered the Buccaneers (0-1) from the start and took the 62-0 on Saturday evening at Bright House Network Stadium in Orlando, Fla.
“Our youth and lack of maturity showed up,” said head coach Jay Mills. “We played hard; we just made a lot of errors. We’ll become a good football team and how soon that occurs, is up to us. We played obviously an outstanding football team that I really believe is a top-20 caliber team. At the same time, we did not play close to our potential. This was one of 11 tests we have, but it wasn’t a final exam, we have 10 more tests to go and we are going to handle those in a mature way. Our leadership, our maturity and us taking responsibility for our actions is going to lead to us becoming a good football team.”
With a large number of players making their collegiate debuts, CSU finished the night with 119 yards of total offense to UCF’s 560. Malcolm Dixon finished the night 6-of-15 for 50 yards with one interception while Richard Mounce was 3-for-3 for 20 yards. Nathan Perera led all CSU receivers with 24 yards on two catches, though Mike Davis was targeted most often with four catches for 12 yards. Tray Dorsey picked up 25 yards on seven attempts, while Teddy Allen added in 19. Andy Brown punted seven times for a total of 272 yards, and was 0-for-1 on field goals.
Demaris Freeman led the Buccaneer defense with eight tackles, while Chris Kuzdale and Gabe Middlebrook each had seven. Middlebrook also had a tackle for a seven yard loss, while Delvon King picked up the Bucs lone sack of the night for a loss of five yards. Daniel Dieudonne had six tackles and a fumble recovery, and O’Brian Campbell and Matt Hardy combined for tackle for a loss of five yards.
Jeff Godrey was 6-for-10 for 100 yards and ran for another 53 yards on seven attempts while Blake Bortles went 8-for-10 for 144 yards. Ronnie Weaver rushed for 107 yards on eight carries, while Josh Reese led all receivers with 97 yards on four catches.
Lyle Dankenbring led the UCF defense with five tackles, with Jonathan Davis picking up the Knight’s only sack of the night for a loss of five yards and another TFL for a total of 10 yards. Josh Linam (five tackles), Ray Shipman (four tackles), Terrance Plummer (five tackles) and Toby Jackson (four tackles) each recorded a TFL, and Josh Robinson grabbed the only interception of the game for a 32-yard touchdown.
The Knights overpowered the Bucs from the start, picking up touchdowns on their first two possessions. Five straight rushes from Weaver set up a seven-yard rushing touchdown for Godfrey to put UCF up 7-0 two and a half minutes into the first quarter. The Bucs’ inexperience showed on their first possession, as Dixon threw two incompletions in just his fourth career start to force a punt by CSU. The Knights were able to capitalize once again with a two-yard run by Latavius Murray to give them a 14-0 lead with 7:51 to go in the first quarter.
CSU couldn’t pick up the first down on their next drive, and were once again forced to punt the ball way. However, a UCF fumble on the punt was recovered by Dieudonne at the UCF 44-yard line. CSU picked up the first down on a 19-yard Dixon pass to Perera and later went for it on fourth-and-three. Unfortunately, the Knights kept them out of the end zone and took over on downs on their own 20-yard line.
Led by Godfrey, the Knights marched 80 yards down the field to add another TD on a one-yard run by Godfrey, stretching the UCF advantage to 21-0 with 10:56 to go in the half. At first, it looked as though CSU’s Charles James picked up his first interception of the season to give the Bucs the ball at the one-yard line; however, the play was overturned after further review allowing the Knights to convert on the drive. The Bucs had no answer to the Knights’ offensive prowess, going three-and-out on their next possession.
A 45-yard pass from Godrey to Adam Nissley set up a six-yard run by Weaver to give the Knights their fourth touchdown of the night pushing the lead to 28-0. A fumble on the ensuing kick return gave the ball right back to the Knights at the CSU 10-yard line. A holding penalty pushed Central Florida back to the 14-yard line, but the Knights were still able to capitalize on the short field with a 14-yard run by Godrey to put UCF up 35-0 with 5:11 remaining in the first half.
Hackworth picked up four yards on back-to- back rushes for the Bucs, who failed to pick up the first down. A 51-yard punt by Brown gave CSU some breathing room, as the Knights failed to make it out of their own territory. UCF punted the ball away, putting the Bucs at their own 28-yard line before they ran out of time at the half and entered the locker room down 35-0.
The Bucs started the third quarter with a 20-yard kick return by Estevon Cintron. Dixon rushed twice for six yards but failed to pick up the first down and the Knights got the ball back on their own 32-yard line. Weaver had back-to-back rushes for a total of 30 yards, followed by a 32-yard run from Quincy McDuffie. McDuffie’s run set up a 2-yard run for a touchdown by Murray to put UCF ahead 42-0 after Shawn Moffit’s PAT with 10:32 to go.
Dixon’s first career interception came at the hands of Josh Robinson with 9:08 in the third and was taken back 32 yards for the score. Moffit’s kick gave the Knights the 49-0 lead. The Bucs started their next drive on their own 32-yard line, picking up a first down on a two-yard run by Dorsey. A 21-yard pass from Dixon to Greg Cuthbertson gave CSU their second first down of the drive, but the Bucs couldn’t make it any farther. Brandan Davis was able to save a 41-yard punt by Brown from going into the end zone, giving UCF the ball at their own one-yard line.
With Bortles in at quarterback, the Knights made it 75 yards to the CSU 24-yard line. Three straight incompletions forced a 42-yard field goal attempt from Moffit which went wide left to prevent UCF from adding to the lead.
The Bucs went three-and-out on their next possession and punted the ball back to the Knights, who took over at the CSU 43-yard line. A 42-yard catch by Josh Reese set up a one-yard touchdown run from Kerlon Williams, giving UCF the 56-0 advantage just 45 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Allen had rushed for 22 yards on five attempts on CSU’s next drive. New quarterback Richard Mounce then completed a 12-yard pass to Cintron to pick up the first down at the UCF 32-yard line. Dorsey picked up 23 yards for the Bucs, who would make it to the Knights’ 11-yard line on a one yard catch by Kevin Glears. However, a missed field goal by Brown kept the Bucs off the board and gave the ball back to the Knights at their own 28-yard line with 5:44 to go.
Bortles combined with J.J. Worton for 41-yard before a facemask penalty on CSU pushed the Knights to the CSU 20-yard line. Williams picked up two first downs for UCF before his three-yard run put them in the end zone for the Knights’ final touchdown of the night. A failed PAT assured the final score would stay at 62-0 in favor of UCF.
Charleston Southern will return to the Sunshine State next week when they take on the ACC’s Florida State University on September 10 in Tallahassee. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. with the game being shown on ESPN3.com.
Coach Mills Postgame InterviewRelated Item: Box Score