December 29, 2007

Bulldogs win in ugly fashion

MEMPHIS - It wasn't pretty by any means. But then again, Mississippi State wasn't looking for style points.

And not many of the other kind of points for that matter, either.

In front of a record crowd of 63,816 on Saturday afternoon, Anthony Dixon scored from the 1 with 1:54 left to give the Bulldogs a 10-3 victory.

It was the lone offensive highlight of the day for either team.

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Make that two misses

MEMPHIS - With 12:31 left in the fourth quarter, Michael Torres missed a 37-yard field goal to the left that would have given Central Florida a 6-3 advantage.

However, the score remains 3-3.

It was the second miss of the day for the UCF placekicker. In the second quarter, he misfired on a 32-yard field goal to the right. Entering the game, he had made 16-straight kicks and was 19 of 21 overall.

I guess he picked a bad day to be off his game. Hey, that's baseball!

A Liberty Bowl record

MEMPHIS - Today's attendance is 63,816, a Liberty Bowl record. The previous mark was the 1991 showdown between Air Force and Mississippi State, where 61,497 fans entere the turnstiles.

Due to technical difficulties . . .

MEMPHIS - Sorry, the internet has been down for nearly two quarters, but we're now up and running.

And with 53 seconds to play in the third quarter, it's 3-3.

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We have points

MEMPHIS - Finally, points are on the board.

With 11:49 remaining in the first half, Michael Torres drained a 45-yard field goal to give Central Florida a 3-0 lead.

The Knights opened their drive at the MSU 46 and moved to the 28 in four plays before stalling out on an incomplete pass by Kyle Israel on fourth-and-7.

So much for the offense

MEMPHIS - Pundits predicted a high-scoring affair in the Liberty Bowl.

But after one quarter, neither Central Florida or Mississippi State have come close to scoring.

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No offense on opening drives

MEMPHIS - Five plays and punt.

That describes the opening drives for both Mississippi State and Central Florida in the Liberty Bowl.

Each team collected one first down, but that's it. Let's see if they can do better on their second possessions.

September 15, 2007

Goodnight Knights

ORLANDO - The only things that dampened UCF's opening game at the Bright House was the weather and Kyle Israel.

UCF, hold your head up high.

UCF fans, you're team will be one to reckon with.

And Texas QB Colt McCoy sang music to the fans' ears when he said after the game, "It was a tough environment for us to play."

The UCF Knights gave No. 6 Texas all that it could handle and more Saturday in the inaugural game held in UCF's Bright House Networks Stadium.

In the end, however, Texas was too tough and UCF's Kyle Israel made one two many mistakes, and Texas won the game, 35-32 in front of a sold-out Bright House.

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Texas' Answer

ORLANDO - The Longhorns answered by driving down field until an interesting exchange on the 26 yard line of UCF.

On 1st down, Colt McCoy attempted a pass that was nearly picked off and taken to the house by a UCF linebacker. That guy is going to have to work on his hands.

On 2nd down, McCoy threw a nice pass to Quan Cosby that looked like a spectacular catch. It was ruled incomplete and Texas challenged. The ruling on the field held.

On 3rd down, Ogbonnaya rushed for four yards in what looked like a give-up play.

That led to a Ryan Bailey field goal to give Texas back the lead, 26-24.

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Bright House Upset?

ORLANDO - The third quarter belonged to the UCF Knights.

This has been a running back battle with UCF's Kevin Smith leading the way. Smith has 137 yards on 20 carries and two TDs and his huge 32-yard run after a Colt McCoy interception by Joe Burnett gave UCF the ball deep in Texas territory.

Smith was hurt on the tackle, but another Smith, Phillip, came into the game and immediately gained 11 yards to put the Knights on the two yard line as the third quarter ended.

The Knights are running all over the Longhorns so far in the second half. And that was even more evident when QB Kyle Israel sneaked right on 4th and 1 at the goal line for the TD that put the Knights ahead.

With 13:38 remaining in the fourth quarter, UCF is WINNING, 24-23.

UCF is winning.

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Knight And Day

ORLANDO - After a Texas field goal on their opening drive of the second half, UCF took the ball and did something they hadn't done in a while.

They scored a touchdown.

Texas only has themselves to blame. After UCF completed a third down conversion, the Longhorns hit the Knights late out of bounds for a 15-yard penalty.

Smith then took the next play 36 yards up the left side of the field and was forced out at the three. He would score on the next play to pull the Knights to within six. The score: Texas 23, UCF 17.

15 carry, 77 yards, 2 TDs, four on season

Smith carried 3 times for 41 yards and the score

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Texas At The Half

ORLANDO - On the biggest day in UCF football history, the God's haven't been smiling in their favor.

UCF has played step for step with Texas the entire half, but the score stands at 20-10 Longhorns because of one bad Kyle Israel pass.

That pass was intercepted by Brandon Foster and brought to the house for a touchdown to make the score 17-10 Texas.

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Back To Work

ORLANDO - After only a 15-minute delay, the Knights and Longhorns are back playing.

Texas began with the ball after the UCF TD.

I just don't feel that the Knights can stand up to the Texas offense for too long. With playmakers like Charles, McCoy and Sweed, not many teams can.

And now, with a healthy and speedy Jordan Shipley, the Longhorns can hurt you in a multitude of ways.

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A Rainy TD

ORLANDO - The Sunshine State is raining on the Knights parade.

Of course, before the teams left the field at 3:58 p.m. due to lightning in the area, UCF was able to score the first touchdown in the Bright House era.

And it came on a two-yard TD run by Kevin Smith.

The Knights embarked on an eight-play, 68-yard TD drive that went 2:37, and more importantly, they seemed to slice and dice a weak Texas secondary, and made it look easy.

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Here Comes The Rain

ORLANDO - It's not so bright out here at the Bright House, as the rain is beginning to fall.

Texas just chipped in a field goal to take a 3-0 lead with 8:45 left in the first quarter, but UCF was robbed when on the previous fourth down play, the refs missed a delay of game call on Texas in which the 'Horns were at least two second over their alotted time.

The result was a fake field goal run by the holder, Jordan Shipley, a junior wide receiver used on fakes a lot, and a first down for Texas that allowed them to kick the next field goal when the Knights held tight again.

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Play One

The first play of the Bright House era was a play action pass down the middle of the field that looked good until the Texas corner Ryan Palmer leaped in front to bat the ball down.

Love the aggressive play call by the Knights.

Of course, the drive ends with a dropped pass that would have been a first down, and the Knights must punt on their opening drive after a three and out.

Lots Of Gold

ORLANDO - For a team no longer called the Golden Knights, the Knights are dressed in gold.

The band in on the field and the stands are full and we are minutes from kickoff.

This place is sold out and UCF is serious about its football team right now.

Of course, Texas travels well and have taken over one endzone.

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Bright Beginnings

ORLANDO - They should call this place the Hot House. Or maybe the dehydration house, as the stadium is without a single water fountain anywhere on the premises.

I'm a native Floridian, but it is scorching in Orlando today for the inaugural game at Bright House Networks Stadium, the brand spanking shiny new $55 million stadium built on UCF's campus.

And who'd the Knights draw to christen their new digs? Why it's the 2-0, No. 6 Texas Longhorns, who reportedly had trouble getting into Orlando last night, but who you can also expect to make the Knights' first game an unpleasent one.

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