Knights play spoiler for season’s finale

The Knights played for pride against the Miners last Friday, ending their roller coaster football season on a positive note with a win against UTEP, 31-14.
UCF junior Latavius Murray ran for 233 yards and two touchdowns, breaking his previous rushing yard record of 146 yards.

“He’s a tough kid to tackle; makes defenders miss,” said head coach George O’Leary.

UCF was the dominant team throughout the game, keeping UTEP scoreless until the fourth quarter.

“I thought the kids went out today and executed on offense, made big plays on defense minus the end of the fourth quarter,” said O’Leary.

UTEP needed a win to become bowl eligible. Both teams will now stay home during the bowl season.

UCF lost every game on the road and had one loss at home against Tulsa. With seven losses, the Knights will stay home during the bowl season for the first time since 2008.
“We weren’t as successful as we would’ve liked to be but I do think we played well, just came up a possession or a stop short each of those games,” O’Leary said.

Sophomore quarterback Jeff Godfrey only played the first quarter; freshman Blake Bortles played the last three.
“Godfrey went a couple series and then I put Bortles in, giving us the best opportunity to win the game,” said O’Leary. Bortles had a total of 158 yards passing and one touchdown pass and one rushing touchdown.

Senior Josh Linam had nine tackles and a third-quarter interception while senior Darius Nall had his 16th career sack.

“I’m happy for the senior class on Senior Night to go out winners. As I told the team, I thought they played hard all year, but we just weren’t as successful as we’d have liked to have been,” said O’Leary.  “We only lose 12 kids, three on offense and two on defense for the whole team. There is a lot of work to be done in the off-season but a great nucleus to work with coming back.”

A total of 15 seniors played their last game as Knights at the Bright House Networks Stadium. Some notable seniors honored before the game were LB Josh Linam, P David Bohner, WR A.J. Guyton TE Adam Nissley, PK Nick Cattoi, DE Darius Nall, OG Cliff McCray, and RB Ronnie Weaver.

“I wanted to help the seniors a lot because I would hope if I was a senior, the underclassmen would do the same for me,” said junior Latavius Murray.