2008 UCF Knights Season
UCF DB Joe Burnett
UCF DB Joe Burnett
Posted Jan 17, 2009

2008 UCF Knights Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 UCF Knights

Nov. 29
UAB 15 …. UCF 0
Joe Webb moved the UAB offense up and down the field as the Blazers cranked out 384 yards of total offense, but he couldn't get the team in the end zone. Swayze Waters stepped in to hit field goals from 40, 43, 22, 36 and 28 yards out with one in each quarter and two in the second. UCF sputtered all game long with just 209 yards of offense holding on to the ball for just 18:24.
Player of the game: UAB QB Joe Webb completed 20-of-28 passes for 244 yards, and he ran 22 times for 80 yards
Stat Leaders: UCF - Passing: Joe Weatherford, 12-26, 99 yds, 2 INT
Rushing: Brynn Harvey, 15-90. Receiving: Brian Watters, 5-40
UAB - Passing: Joe Webb, 20-28, 244 yds
Rushing: Joe Webb, 22-80. Receiving: Mark Ferrell, 5-82
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... From Conference USA champions to 4-8 and the worst offense in America. UCF had a mediocre UAB at home for the season finale and did nothing offensively with no passing game and not enough from Brynn Harvey and the running game in the shut out. A win would've ended the season on a strange three-game winning streak, but now the coaching staff knows it has to spend the next nine months picking apart the attack and figuring out what works. The team can't compete in the high-octane league with an offense that comes up with 229.5 yards per game.

- 2008 UCF Preview
- 2007 UCF Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2008 Results: 4-8

Aug. 30 S Carolina St W 17-0
Sept. 5 South Florida L 31-24 OT
Sept. 13 OPEN DATE
Sept. 20 at Boston Coll L 34-7
Sept. 27 at UTEP L 58-13
Oct. 4 SMU W 31-17
Oct. 11 at Miami L 20-14
Oct. 26 at Tulsa L 49-19
Nov. 2 East Carolina L 13-10 OT
Nov. 8 Southern Miss L 17-6
Nov. 15 at Marshall W 30-14
Nov. 22 at Memphis W 28-21
Nov. 29 UAB L 15-0

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2007 Results: 10-

Sept. 1 at NC State W 25-23
Sept. 15 Texas L 35-32
Sept. 22
Memphis W 56-20
Sept. 29 UL Lafayette W 37-19
Oct. 6 at E Carolina L 52-38
Oct. 13 at So. Florida L 64-12
Oct. 20
Tulsa W 44-23
Oct. 28 at So Miss W 34-17
Nov. 3 Marshall W 47-13
Nov. 10
at UAB W 45-31
Nov. 17 at SMU W 49-20
Nov. 24
UTEP W 36-20
Conference USA Championship
Dec. 1 Tulsa W 44-25
Liberty Bowl
Dec. 29 Miss State L 10-3

Nov. 22
UCF 28 … Memphis 21
Rob Calabrese threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Kay and connected with Kyhmest Williams for a 19-yard score as UCF did just enough on offense to get by. The Knights only gained 194 yards of total offense, but they capitalized on two Memphis turnovers with Derrick Hallman returning a fumble 26 yards for a touchdown and Latavius Murray scoring from one-yard out. Memphis got a 54-yard Duke Calhoun touchdown catch and short touchdown runs from Cutis Steele and Steven Black, but couldn't get into scoring range late.
Player of the game: UCF DB Sha'reff Rashad made 11 tackles
Stat Leaders: Memphis - Passing: Arkelon Hall, 15-35, 183 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Arkelon Hall 11-42. Receiving: Steven Black, 3-29
UCF - Passing: Joe Weatherford, 2-7, 67 yds
Rushing: Brynn Harvey, 11-71. Receiving: Kamar Allen, 3-56
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... UCF might not be doing anything pretty, and the offense might be struggling to do anything through the air, but the team is finally getting wins. On a two-game roll after the strange, effective victory over Memphis, the disappointing season can end on a high-note with a home win over UAB next week. It's too late to change things up now, but it would be a plus if the nation's worst offense could find something to go into the off-season to count on.

Nov. 15
UCF 30 … Marshall 14
Sha'reff Rashad picked off two passes and Jamar Newsome recovered a fumble for a score as the UCF defense held Marshall to 229 yards and forced four turnovers. The UCF offense only completed 4-of-17 passes for 29 yards, but it got a big day from Brynn Harvey who ran for 150 yards with a 50-yard touchdown dash to put the game away. Marshall scored on a one-yard Chubb Small run and a 15-yard Cody Slate catch, but the turnovers and lack of run defense proved costly.
Player of the game: UCF RB Brynn Harvey ran 33 times for 150 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Marshall - Passing: Brian Anderson, 3-12, 52 yds
Rushing: Darius Marshall, 16-142. Receiving: Cody Slate, 2-46, 1 TD
UCF - Passing: Rob Calabrese, 4-17, 29 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Brynn Harvey, 33-150, 1 TD. Receiving: Khymest Williams, 2-12 
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Has anyone ever won a game with a 4-of-17 passing day? The UCF defense saved the day with a great job of taking the ball away, while the running game and Brynn Harvey carried the offense. The season might be all but over with seven losses, but that doesn't mean the tone can't be set for next year by beating Memphis and UAB in the final two games. Now is when the team can make some real noise and generate a buzz for the off-season.

Nov. 8
Southern Miss 17 … UCF 6
Austin Davis ran for an eight-yard touchdown and threw a five-yard scoring pass to DeAndre Brown as part of a 17-point run to put UCF away. The Knights came up with a 91-yard scoring drive early in the game finishing with a three-yard Kyhmest Williams touchdown catch, but the offense stalled form then on. UCF converted just 1-of-11 third down chances and turned it over two times.
Player of the game: Southern Miss QB Austin Davis completed 21-of-34 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown, and he ran 25 times for 73 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: UCF - Passing: Rob Calabrese, 12-30, 141 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Brynn Harvey, 7-34. Receiving: Kamar Aiken, 5-63
Southern Miss - Passing: Austin Davis, 21-34, 188 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Austin Davis, 25-73, 1 TD. Receiving: Shawn Nelson, 7-57
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The offense just isn't working. It was non-existent against Southern Miss after a great first quarter drive as Rob Calabrese struggled to keep the chains moving. He got little help from the running game and had to start forcing a few passes; he's just not able to carry the team on his shoulders. The defense held up surprisingly well considering the offense did absolutely nothing. Now the Knights are ensured of a losing season with road games ahead against Marshall and Memphis.

Nov. 1
East Carolina 13 … UCF 10 OT
East Carolina PK Ben Hartman hit a 39-yard field goal in overtime after Emanuel Davis picked off Michael Greco on UCF's overtime chance. Each team had chances late after key turnovers, but neither could convert. UCF took a 10-0 lead midway through the third quarter helped by a 54-yard score from Jamar Newsome, who took a short pass the distance, but ECU scores 13 unanswered points. Hartman hit a 27-yard field goal in the third and Norman Whitley ran for a two-yard touchdown with under two minutes to play.
Player of the game: East Carolina RB Norman Whitley ran 28 times for 135 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: UCF - Passing: Michael Greco, 9-21, 142 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Michael Greco, 17-53. Receiving: Kamar Aiken, 4-29
East Carolina - Passing: Pat Pinkney, 6-14, 84 yds
Rushing: Norman Whitley, 28-135, 1 TD. Receiving: Davon Drew, 6-86
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... UCF simply isn't generating any consistent offense. Outside of the 54-yard touchdown from Jamar Newsome, the Knights generated just 170 yards of offense. There isn't any production from the running backs and Michael Greco isn't the type of quarterback who can carry a team. There aren't any offensive juggernauts left on the schedule, but much more is needed to keep up with Southern Miss next week.

Oct. 25
Tulsa 49 … UCF 19
Tulsa wasn't always sharp, giving up a 19-point first half run with Brian Watters catching touchdown passes from 62 and seven yards out for the Knights, but that was it for the fun. The Golden Hurricane reeled off 35 unanswered points as David Johnson ran for two third quarter scores and hit Damaris Johnson for a 15-yard touchdown run. UCF's offense sputtered in the second half of an ugly overall game with six turnovers and 13 penalties. UCF finished with a mere 187 yards to Tulsa's 436.  
Player of the game: Tulsa QB David Johnson completed 17-of-27 passes for 264 yards and a touchdown with an interception, and hr ran for two scores.
Stat Leaders: UCF - Passing: Rob Calabrese, 8-15, 124 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Brynn Harvey, 24-91. Receiving:
Brian Watters, 7-121, 2 TD
Tulsa - Passing: David Johnson, 17-27, 264 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Charles Opeseyitan, 5-55. Receiving: Damaris Johnson, 4-21, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The secondary and the defense came up with three takeaways against Tulsa, but they needed a lot more to make up for the lack of an offense. 69 of the team's 187 yards came on the two second quarter touchdown catches from Brian Watters, and there was nothing sharp about the second half. The defense will have to start doing even more until QB Rob Calabrese or RB Brynn Harvey can start making the offense perform on a regular basis.

Oct. 11
Miami 20 … UCF 14
Miami took advantage of a muffed punt return from Joe Burnett to get a five-yard Graig Cooper touchdown run with just over five minutes to play to give the Canes a little bit of breathing room, but Burnett made up for his error by taking the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown. It wasn't enough as UCF only managed 78 yards of total offense in an ugly, mistake-filled game. Miami got up 10-0 in the first quarter highlighted by a 25-yard touchdown pass from Robert Marve to Travis Benjamin, but Marve struggled with three interceptions. Johnell Neal took one of the picks 62 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. The two teams combined to convert 5-of-35 third down chances.
Player of the game: Miami DB Glenn Cook made 10 tackles and a tackle for loss
Stat Leaders: UCF - Passing: Rob Calabrese, 11-35, 74 yds
Rushing: Rob Calabrese, 13-25. Receiving: Brian Watters, 5-37
Miami - Passing: Robert Marve, 8-19, 74 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Graig Cooper, 23-90, 1 TD. Receiving: Dedrick Epps, 3-20
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... This is a night-and-day different team than last year's Conference USA champion. The secondary is still tremendous, and Joe Burnett is a special all-around player, but the passing game is non-existent meaning there's no room to move for the ground game. It's too simplistic to blame QB Rob Calabrese for the problems, he's not getting much time behind a struggling offensive line, but he's not playing well. He did what he could against Miami, but UCF ended up with just 78 total yards with four on the ground.

Oct. 4

UCF 31 … SMU 17
Michael Greco came off the bench and found Brian Watters for a 56-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and he put the game away for UCF with a 15-yard scoring pass to Kyhmest Williams in the final minutes. SMU had its moments with Aldrick Robinson scoring on a 94-yard pass play and Andrew McKinney ran for a one-yard score, but four turnovers proved to be a problem. UCF only gained 280 yards of total offense, but it took advantage of the mistakes.
Player of the game: UCF RB Ronnie Weaver ran 25 times for 123 yards and a touchdown, and he caught a pass for eight yards
Stat Leaders: SMU - Passing: Bo Levi Mitchell, 29-45, 351 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Chris Butler, 3-19. Receiving: Aldrick Robinson, 10-210, 1 TD
- Passing: Michael Greco, 4-8, 94 yds, 2 TD
Ronnie Weaver, 25-123, 1 TD. Receiving: Brian Watters, 3-83, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Is it Michael Greco's offense now? After coming up strong in the second half win over SMU, he might be the starting quarterback next week against Miami. However, UCF needs its running game to be strong to win. Ronnie Weaver had a nice day with 123 yards, while the offense took advantage of the four SMU turnovers. Now the O needs to be more consistent. 11 first downs aren't going to cut it from here on. 

Sept. 27
UTEP 58 … UCF 13
UTEP got up 17-0 on a Josh Ferguson fumble return for a score and a 14-yard Jamar Hunt touchdown grab, and never looked back. Trevor Vittatoe connected with Kris Adams for a 74-yard score and Vernon Frazier ran for a 55-yard score, while the defense did its part with six turnovers finishing up with a Dane O'Neill fumble recovery for a score. UCF got a seven-yard Kamar Aiken touchdown catch and a 13-yard Ronnie Weaver scoring run, but lost four fumbles and two interceptions. UTEP's Cornelius Brown picked off two passes and acme up with a blocked punt.
Player of the game: UTEP QB Trevor Vittatoe completed 18-of-32 passes for 263 yards and three touchdowns with an interception.  
Stat Leaders: UTEP - Passing: Trevor Vittatoe, 18-32, 263 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Vernon Frazier, 4-73, 1 TD. Receiving: Kris Adams, 4-128, 1 TD
- Passing: Rob Calabrese, 13-31, 167 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rob Calabrese, 11-86. Receiving: Kamar Aiken, 5-58, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... UCF has fallen very far, very fast. This was a horrible UTEP team that blew away the Knights. Rob Calabrese had an awful day throwing the ball, the offense couldn't stop giving it away, and the defense didn't do anything to stop the momentum. This was bad, but if UCF loses to SMU at home next week, it might be time to officially declare the season in the tank. The secondary will have to be far better.

Sept. 20
Boston College 34 … UCF 7
After a rocky start, BC's Chris Crane ran for two touchdowns in the third quarter and threw a 48-yarder to Brandon Robinson in the fourth. The Eagle defense did the rest holding UCF to just 252 yards of total offense allowing a late first half touchdown run to QB Michael Greco. BC backup QB Dominique Davis, who came in for a brief spell early on, threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Lars Anderson in the final minutes.
Player of the game:
Boston College QB Chris Crane went 16-of-34 for 207 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions, while rushing seven times for 31 yards and two more scores.
Stat Leaders: UCF
- Passing: Michael Greco, 12-24, 92 yds, 3 INTs
Rushing: Michael Greco, 6-54, 1 TD. Receiving: Brian Watters, 6-59
Boston College
- Passing: Chris Crane, 16-34, 207 yds, 1 TD, 3 INTs
Rushing: Montel Harris, 13-112. Receiving: Brandon Robinson, 7-109, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... UCF isn't getting enough of a running game to overcome mistakes. Michael Greco threw three interceptions, the team threw four, against Boston College, and he was the team's leading rusher. That can't happen. The offense didn't keep the chains moving against the great Eagle defense, while the defense didn't do enough to stop the BC attack in the second half. Fortunately, a layup against an awful UTEP is up next to kick off Conference USA play.

Sept. 6
South Florida 31 ... UCF 24 OT
In overtime, South Florida got a 25-yard touchdown catch from Taurus Johnson on the second play. UCF had a fourth and short, but an illegal procedure penalty moved the ball back, and it proved costly as Michael Greco came up inches short of a first down and USF held for the win. Cedric Hill caught two third quarter touchdown passes to give the Bulls a 24-10 lead, but UCF came back on two Michael Greco touchdown passes in the final 2:46 with a 31-yard Rocky Ross catch tying up the game with 1:40 to play. South Florida outgained UCF 504 yards to 226.
Player of the game: South Florida QB Matt Grothe, completed 23-of-40 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions, and led the team with 54 yards on 20 carries.
Stat Leaders: South Florida - Passing: Matt Grothe, 23-40, 346 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Matt Grothe, 20-54. Receiving: Taurus Johnson, 6-143, 1 TD
UCF - Passing: Michael Greco, 17-32, 150 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Michael Greco, 6-51. Receiving: Rocky Ross, 8-90, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... UCF should've been blown away by South Florida considering the way the defense struggled and with a sputtering offense, but the team find a way to get back in the game to almost pull it out. Even in a loss, this has to be a little bit of a confidence booster as there was a chance to pull out the win in overtime, but it just didn't happen against a high-powered team that could end up winning the Big East. Now a running back has to emerge. QB Michael Greco can't be leading the team in rushing on a regular basis, but Boston College has the potential to take away the backs when the two meet in two weeks.

Aug. 30
UCF 17 ... South Carolina State 0
UCF held South Carolina State to 126 yards of total offense to overcome a sluggish performance from its own attack. Latavius Murray ran for a one-yard score in the second quarter for all the points the Knights would need, and he added a seven-yard scoring dash late in the fourth to put the game away. SCSU only gained five first downs and had the ball for just 21:50.
Player of the game: Jordan Richards led UCF with seven tackles.
Stat Leaders: South Carolina State - Passing: Malcolm Long, 11-21, 74 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: William Ford, 12-36. Receiving: Dusten Dubose, 4-16
UCF - Passing: Michael Greco, 9-16, 90 yds
Rushing: Ronnie Weaver, 23-84. Receiving: Khymest Williams, 5-32
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The defense was suffocating against South Carolina State
allowing just five first downs, 126 yards, and no points. The offense was another story. It did what it had to do, and it ran for 228 yards, but the passing game was pedestrian and too many drives stalled. That's fine against SCSU, but the offense has to ramp it up a few notches against South Florida next week.

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

Steven Robinson OG 6-3 305 Fr. Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln
Earned four letters in football for head coach Kyle Rice at Lincoln High School ... Named first-team Class 4A All-State by the Florida Sports Writers Association following his senior season ... Earned All-Big Bend first-team honors by the Tallahassee Democrat as a junior and senior ... Four-year starter on the offensive line ... Earned third-team All-State honors as a junior ... Also lettered in wrestling, track and field and played the tuba in the school band ... Nicknamed Moose ... . Ranked as the No. 24 offensive guard prospect in the country and the No. 69 overall prospect in the state of Florida by Scout.com ... Ranked No. 90 on the top 100 high school football prospects 2007 list by the Orlando Sentinel ... Also recruited by Clemson, Georgia, Minnesota, South Carolina and USF.

Potential Instant Impact Players

Jarvis Geathers DE 6-2 225 Jr. Andrews, S.C./Andrews/Feather River CC
Transferred to UCF from Feather River College in Quincy, Calif., where he spent two seasons following a prep career at Andrews (S.C.) High School ... Has three years to play two seasons for the Knights ...Named to the NorCal All-Conference team this past season after racking up 60 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks ... Was the Region 6-AA Lineman of the Year in South Carolina as a prep senior ... Earned first-team Class AA All-State honors as a senior and third-team honors as a junior ... Geathers' brother Jeremy is a junior linebacker at UNLV and his father James `Jumpy' Geathers played in the NFL for 13 seasons with the Washington Redskins and won a Super Bowl ring ... Also recruited by NC State, Oklahoma State, New Mexico and UNLV.

Chris Martin DT 6-5 290 Fr. Fort Walton Beach, Fla./Choctawhatchee
Earned four letters for head coach Bobby Moore at Choctawhatchee High School ... Spent his first two prep seasons at offensive tackle before making the transition to defensive tackle for his junior and senior seasons ... As a senior, posted 92 tackles, 21 sacks, 27 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery ... Earned All-Northwest Florida honors as a junior and senior ... Named to the Junior All-America second team in 2006 after registering 86 tackles, 12 sacks and 14 tackles for loss ... Also lettered in track and field and weight lifting ... Ranked as the No. 53 defensive tackle prospect nationally by Scout.com ... Ranked No. 91 on the top-100 high school football prospects 2007 list by the Orlando Sentinel ... Also recruited by Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Ole Miss, Rutgers, Southern Miss and USF

Rest of the Class
Rob Calabrese QB 6-2 215 Fr. Islip Terrace, N.Y./East Islip
Brandon Davis RB 5-9 190 Fr. Suwanee, Ga./Peachtree Ridge
Thao Goins DT 6-4 285 Fr. Fort Bend, Texas/Hightower
Brynn Harvey RB 5-11 215 Fr. Largo, Fla./Largo
Chad Hounshell OL 6-4 300 Fr. Mentor, Ohio/Lake Catholic
Brendan Kelly TE/HB 6-3 235 Fr. Shoreham, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River
Chad Keys DB 6-0 185 Jr. Covington, La./St. Paul's
Vance King RB 6-0 195 Fr. Stockbridge, Ga./Stockbridge
Josh Linam LB 6-2 230 Jr. Tavares, Fla./Tavares
Kyle Madden TE 6-3 250 Fr. Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison
Jarien Moreland OL 6-4 330 Fr. Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Central
Latavius Murray RB 6-3 215 Fr. Nedrow, N.Y./Onandaga Central
John Oliver OL 6-6 270 Fr. LaGrange, Ga./Troup County
Robert Pritchard DE 6-4 225 Fr. Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett
Loren Robinson LB 6-3 195 Fr. Longwood, Fla./Lyman
David Williams LB 6-1 205 Fr. Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons
Marquee Williams ATH 6-0 195 Fr. Ocala, Fla./Vanguard

2007 Recap

After going 4-8 a year ago, the Knights enjoyed resurgence in 2007, winning 10 games and a league championship for the first time in program history.  UCF hit a fork in the road in October with back-to-back blowout losses to East Carolina and South Florida, but recovered to win seven straight games before bowing to Mississippi State in the Liberty Bowl.  RB Kevin Smith led the country in rushing, nearly eclipsing Barry Sanders' single-season record, while approaching Daunte Culpepper as the most famous player to ever wear the black and gold in Orlando.     

Offensive Player of the Year: RB Kevin Smith

Defensive Player of the Year: S Sha'reff Rashad

Biggest Surprise: The defense.  In those two mid-season losses, UCF allowed 116 points and was passed on with ease.  From that point forward, however, the defense did an about-face, pressuring the quarterback and picking off 21 passes in the final eight games.  Without any warning, the Knight defense became a key component in the program's run toward the Conference USA championship.     

Biggest Disappointment: The Knights played too well against Texas in Week 2 to be content with a moral victory.  With the crowd rocking in new Bright House Networks Stadium, UCF fell three points shy of authoring the type of upset that can define a young program.       

Looking Ahead: Smith's reversal of an earlier decision to return for his senior year leaves UCF with a gaping hole on offense.  Until a few new playmakers can be mined, the Knights might rely on a fast defense that'll welcome back a handful of familiar faces.



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