Jan. 26, 2012
Read John Denton's Knights Insider |
By Brian Ormiston
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The 2012 UCF Football schedule has been announced and fans are in store for one of the most exciting seasons in school history. Several must-see games appear on the schedule including Missouri, the very first SEC opponent to take on UCF in Orlando, as well as a trip to hallowed football grounds when the Knights take on Ohio State at the "Horseshoe."
UCF opens the 2012 season on the road at Akron, Thursday, Aug. 30, with a trip back up to the Buckeye State the following weekend to face Ohio State, Saturday, Sept. 8. The Knights will then open Bright House Networks Stadium for the 2012 home-opener on Saturday, Sept. 15, vs. state-rival FIU. After a bye week, the Missouri Tigers travel to Orlando for a highly-anticipated showdown at the Bright House on Saturday, Sept. 29. Currently in the Big 12, Missouri will be moving to the SEC following the 2011-12 academic year.
The Conference USA schedule is set to open in Orlando in 2012 with back-to-back home games vs. C-USA East Division rivals East Carolina (Oct. 6) and Southern Miss (Oct. 13). The Knights also will host C-USA West Division power SMU (Nov. 3) and East Division foe UAB (Nov. 24) in the regular-season finale. C-USA road games include: Memphis (Oct. 20), Marshall (Oct. 27), UTEP (Nov. 10) and Tulsa (Nov. 17).
Homecoming 2012 is tentatively slated for the Nov. 3 game against SMU, while the home-opener on Sept. 15 vs. FIU will be the annual Family Weekend and College Open House events across the UCF campus.
2012 UCF Football Schedule
Aug. 30 - at Akron (Thurs.)
Sept. 8 - at Ohio State
Sept. 15 - Florida International (Family Weekend/College Open House)
Sept. 29 - Missouri
Oct. 6 - East Carolina*
Oct. 13 - Southern Miss*
Oct. 20 - at Memphis*
Oct. 27 - at Marshall*
Nov. 3 - SMU*
Nov. 10 - at UTEP*
Nov. 17 - at Tulsa*
Nov. 24 - UAB*
*Conference USA game.
-- Game times are TBD.
-- All C-USA game dates are subject to change during the upcoming television selection process.
The Conference USA league office will release television schedule information at a later date. It is not uncommon for presently scheduled C-USA games to change dates to accommodate a national television appearance. Please continue to check UCFAthletics.com for updated football schedule information prior to making game day plans. It will be the final season for the Black and Gold in C-USA before UCF heads to the BIG EAST in 2013-14.
Ticket office staff will be on-site at the UCF Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 1, at the fan-favorite UCF Football Signing Day Show. The event is open to public and free for all fans to attend. Doors to the UCF Arena will open at 5 p.m. with the show getting underway starting at 6 p.m.
With Missouri (SEC) and Ohio State (Big 10) on the 2012 schedule, UCF has now played at least two schools from automatic-qualifying BCS conferences in 16 of 17 seasons since moving up to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 1996.
With Missouri coming to Bright House Networks Stadium in 2012, the Knights will have hosted at least one school from an AQ conference at home since the 2006 season and eight of nine seasons under head coach George O'Leary.
All four 2012 non-conference opponents hail from FBS conferences: Missouri (SEC), Ohio State (Big 10), Akron (MAC) and FIU (Sun Belt).
The 2012 campaign will be the first in which UCF opens up on the road since 2007, when it defeated NC State, 25-23. That also was the last time all four of the Knights' non-conference games were against FBS opponents.
Akron Zips - AWAY - Thursday, Aug. 30
UCF has not faced Akron since 2004, when the Zips pulled out a 26-21 MAC win at the Florida Citrus Bowl in what was Jim Fleming's first year as Akron's defensive coordinator. Fleming worked for the Zips from 2004-09, spent a year at Kent State in 2010 and was hired at UCF in December 2011 as the defensive coordinator. Akron, which was 1-11 in 2011, holds a 5-2 all-time lead in the series with UCF, and Aug. 30 will mark the first game for Akron's new head coach Terry Bowden. Having served as head coach at Auburn from 1993-98, Bowden boasted a 47-17-1 record during his career with the Tigers.
Ohio State Buckeyes - AWAY - Sept. 8
The Knights return the following week to the Buckeye State to battle Ohio State for the first time in school history, and they have a 0-6 record against current Big Ten programs (including a 1997 trip to Nebraska). The seven-time national champion Buckeyes finished 2011 with top-25 victories against Wisconsin and Illinois en route to a berth in the Gator Bowl. OSU will be under first-year head coach Urban Meyer, who began his head coaching career in Ohio at Bowling Green from 2001-02. He then went on to lead Utah from 2003-04 before guiding Florida to two national championships in 2006 and 2008.
FIU Panthers - HOME - Sept. 15
FIU will be making the return journey to Orlando after UCF visited Miami in 2011, falling to the Panthers, 17-10, in what was the two schools' first meeting. FIU completed last year with an 8-5 record, including a 3-0 mark to end the regular season, and earned a spot in the Beef `O' Brady's Bowl.
Missouri Tigers - HOME - Sept. 29
Wrapping up 2011 on a four-game winning streak, Missouri was 8-5 with a 41-24 victory over North Carolina in the Independence Bowl. Running back Henry Josey was 12th in the nation with 116.80 yards per game as a sophomore, while classmate James Franklin started all 13 games under center, throwing 21 touchdowns and averaging 220.4 passing yards per game. Meanwhile, the Tigers ranked 12th in the FBS in total offense, and the defense registered 27 sacks. It will be the first meeting between UCF and Missouri.
East Carolina Pirates - HOME - Oct. 6
Led by C-USA Freshman of the Year in linebacker Jeremy Grove, East Carolina went 5-7 overall and 4-4 in C-USA. Grove was 10th in the country in tackles per game, however ECU will lose quarterback Dominique Davis who was second in the league in total offense during his senior season. The Pirates won a close 38-31 decision over UCF in Greenville last year to take a 9-2 series lead.
Southern Miss Golden Eagles - HOME - Oct. 13
Finishing as high as No. 19 in the 2011 national rankings, Southern Miss topped then-undefeated Houston for the C-USA title and also took down Nevada in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl. The Golden Eagles were 12-2 on the year (6-2 in the league), but they also lose their starting signal-caller as Austin Davis was third in C-USA in total offense as a senior. In the two teams' last get together, Southern Miss edged UCF in dramatic fashion, 30-29, in Hattiesburg and carries a 6-1 advantage in the series.
Memphis Tigers - AWAY - Oct. 20
Memphis went 2-10 in 2011 with its lone C-USA victory coming against Tulane, and that record also includes a 41-0 loss to UCF in Orlando as the Knights are 7-1 all-time vs. the Tigers and have won seven-straight meetings. Memphis was seventh in the FBS in turnover margin, and suffered three losses by just seven points or less.
Marshall Thundering Herd - AWAY - Oct. 27
The Thundering Herd closed out their season with a 20-10 win against FIU in the Beef `O' Brady's Bowl, posting a 7-6 overall record and a 5-3 C-USA mark. Defensive end Vinny Curry will be missed on the Marshall defense, as he grabbed C-USA Defensive Player of the Year honors in his final year in Huntington. Freshman quarterback Rakeem Cato threw for 15 touchdowns, but had just 87 passing yards in UCF's 16-6 win during a rainstorm last year. The Knights have a seven-game winning streak in the series, which they lead 7-3.
SMU Mustangs - HOME - Nov. 3
Thanks to a 28-6 thumping of Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl, SMU was able to cap off the 2011 campaign with an 8-5 record (5-3 in the league standings). Running back Zach Line was seventh in the FBS with 122.40 rushing yards per game, and has 34 rushing touchdowns in three seasons in Dallas. On defense, SMU was second behind only UCF in rushing and total defense in C-USA. The Mustangs registered a 38-17 win over UCF in Texas last season, but the Knights boast a 3-1 record in the series.
UTEP Miners - AWAY - Nov. 10
Just one win shy of earning a bowl berth, UTEP was 5-7 with a 2-6 C-USA record in 2011. Special teams shined for the Miners as they were sixth in the nation in net punting and fourth in kickoff returns. UTEP also was fifth in C-USA with 26.6 points per game. The 2012 meeting between the Knights and the Miners will be UCF's first trip to El Paso since 2008, and the Black and Gold carries a 2-1 advantage in the series.
Tulsa Golden Hurricane - AWAY - Nov. 17
Tulsa sported an 8-5 overall record in 2011 highlighted by a 7-1 mark in C-USA. The Golden Hurricane suffered a close 24-21 loss to BYU in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Senior quarterback G.J. Kinne was third in the league in passing efficiency as he helped Tulsa place third in C-USA in scoring offense and total offense. UCF fell in last year's edition, 24-17, as the Golden Hurricane are 3-2 all-time vs. the Knights.
UAB Blazers - HOME - Nov. 24
All of UAB's victories in 2011 came during league play as it defeated UCF, Memphis and Southern Miss to go 3-12 overall. It finished the campaign with a 2-1 record in its final three outings. The Blazers' victory over the Knights in Birmingham moved the series record in favor of UCF to 7-2.