And UCF also wants to erase that memory of last season’s dismal shutout finish.
“UAB beat us 15-0 and that was kind of embarrassing to all of us,” UCF tight end Adam Nissley said. “But we want to go out now, finish strong and prove to everybody that we’re one of the best teams in this conference.”
UCF has easily been one of the best teams in the conference for the past two months, winning five conference games in a row. In that stretch was a come-from-behind 21-20 thriller against Marshall, a massive upset of No. 12 Houston for the program’s first win against a ranked team and a 49-0 whipping of Tulane last week. It proved to be the largest shutout win in the history of Conference USA play.
UCF has salvaged its season by getting steady play from senior quarterback Brett Hodges and improved running from sophomore back Brynn Harvey. And defensively, the Knights have consistently been one of the nation’s best teams against the run. UCF ranks third nationally against the run, trailing only third-ranked Texas and second-ranked Alabama.
“That’s something that we take a lot of pride in and we go out every weekend trying to protect,” said UCF standout defensive end Bruce Miller. “We go out saying we’re going to stop the run and make teams one dimensional. We know if we can take care of the run the game will swing our way.”
To get their revenge against UAB, the Knights have to slow down the one-man wrecking crew of Joe Webb. The quarterback has completed 60.2 percent of his passes for 1,977 yards and 18 touchdowns. And on the ground, he’s UAB’s leading rusher with 1,290 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.
The Knights’ 13 seniors are determined to do everything possible to make sure they don’t suffer the same fate as last year in the final regular season game.
“I’m going to do everything possible to make sure that does not happen,” UCF senior wide receiver Rocky Ross said. “I was close to people like Joe Burnett and Pat Brown and I grew up with Sha’Reff (Rashad) and we felt sorry for them having to go out like that. You remember that and you know you don’t want to have that feeling on Saturday.”