UCF’s seniors still have sights set on conference championship


Bryce Brimhall / Valencia Voice

Rob Sauvao (No. 98) and Jordan Ozerities (No. 38) are two of the many seniors that will be honored during a pre-game ceremony before the SMU game.

UCF’s final game of the season at Bright House Networks Stadium will be an emotional one for the Knights’ senior class, even if they won’t admit it before hand.

Seniors Terrance Plummer, Clayton Geathers and Josh Reese will be captains for UCF on Saturday against a winless SMU Mustangs team, but more so than the emotions of senior day the Knights are focused on their top priority, which is winning the next three games and winning their second American Athletic Conference championship.

“It’s our last game in Bright House Stadium,” said Plummer. “But we want to come out of there with a W like always and keep moving forward with the season.”

UCF controls their own destiny going into the final three games of the season, needing wins over SMU, USF and ECU to clinch back-to-back conference championships. But the Knights have been approaching this final stretch of the season with a playoff mentality.

SMU will go into the matchup with a 0-9 record and having only scored 90 points in those nine games, but UCF won’t be overlooking the Mustangs after falling to UConn earlier in the months for the Huskies first win of the year.

“Don’t look at the record, they have athletes, they have players,” said Geathers. “Never underestimate your opponent and you’ve just got to go out and prepare each game the same.”

The Mustangs have used four different quarterbacks this year, but seem to have found some stability in Matt Davis, who will be playing in his fifth game for SMU. Look for the Knights’ defense to come out early and shut down the opposing offense, as UCF has six seniors starting on that side of the ball.

Justin Holman is coming off a career-high three touchdown passes and will be looking to continue his recent success, especially with the probable return of wide receiver Rannell Hall.

UCF is currently in a three-way tie at the top of the AAC standings with Memphis and Cincinnati each having one conference loss. With a win over SMU on Saturday, the Knights would improve to 5-1 in conference play going into the Black Friday matchup against rival USF.

“They’ve had a tough season, but I respect everybody,” said O’Leary. “You can’t afford to have a let up at this time of year, especially in the position we’re in as far as the three remaining games.”

Fans are encouraged to go out to the stadium prior to the noon EST kickoff, as UCF will honor the senior class with a pregame ceremony. The matchup between the Knights and the Mustangs will be televised on ESPNews.