After opening the regular season with two games on the road, the Knights will get to play in front of their home crowd on for the first time in 2012 Saturday. UCF will face in-state rival FIU at Bright House Networks Stadium and the team is hoping to see a packed stadium on game day.
"I think they're going to be out there in numbers," senior offensive lineman Jordan Rae said. "We need them to make some noise and cheer us on because we react to that and we feed off of that."
"I expected for it to be packed," senior defensive back A.J. Bouye said. "I love our fans. They've always been there for us."
Last season, UCF traveled to Miami and dropped a 17-10 decision to the Panthers in the first matchup ever between the two squads. The Knights are looking to return the favor this season.
This is the first game of a four-game home stand for the Knights.
"I feel we have some good home games that we can win, especially with the fans behind us," Bouye said. "I'm looking forward to it."
"I love playing at home and protecting the house," Rae said. "I'm really excited. I can't wait to get this home stretch stared."
One key for the Knights to come away with a victory is to contain FIU signal caller Jake Medlock. He will be the third dual-threat quarterback the Knights have faced in their three games this season. Last week,UCF squared off against one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation in Ohio State's Braxton Miller.
"We're expecting to see some of the same things," Bouye said about facing Medlock. "He's pretty good. He has a nice arm and can run. As far as coverage we have to make sure we're where we're supposed to because he can run and he has good athletes who are trying to get open."
"They have big, talented athletes down there," Rae said. "We can't take them lightly. It's an important game. This is a championship for us and that's how we have to treat it. We have to come out and prepare better this time than we did last time."
UCF head coach George O'Leary has said he enjoys playing Florida schools because he feels it's good for the program and good for the state. That mentality has rubbed off on the players as well.
"Any in-state school we play should be a rivalry," Rae said. "It's good for the state and it's good for both schools. We're looking forward to it and I'm sure they are."