By tying an NCAA record with two kickoff returns for touchdowns in a 54-17 win at Marshall Oct. 27, UCF senior Quincy McDuffie was voted the Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Week Monday. The Orlando native and Edgewater High School graduate helped the Knights improve their record to 6-2 on the year and 4-0 in league play with the win.
It was the second C-USA weekly honor of the season for McDuffie, who also won it for his efforts in the triumph over East Carolina when he ran back a 99-yarder to the house and also had a 64-yard receiving touchdown. Meanwhile, it was McDuffie’s third special teams weekly award of his career (Nov. 22, 2010, at Tulane).
McDuffie also was named the College Football Performance Awards National Kick Returner of the Week. The CFPA announced that senior running back Latavius Murray was the National All-Purpose Performer of the Week and received honorable mention status as a running back as well, while redshirt freshman defensive end Deion Green (another graduate of Edgewater) was a CFPA Honorable Mention Defensive Lineman of the Week selection.
Facing Marshall in a crucial C-USA East Division contest, McDuffie and the Knights’ kickoff return unit erased the home team’s first-quarter 3-0 lead with a 97-yard burst to the endzone. The Thundering Herd tried to secure momentum by scoring right before halftime to cut the UCF lead to 27-10, however McDuffie answered yet again. The 5-foot-10 speedster took the opening kickoff of the second half 98 yards for the record-breaking touchdown, ruining any chance of a possible comeback for the Herd.
McDuffie became the first player in UCF and C-USA history to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in a game. Overall, it has happened just 17 times in the NCAA, including twice on Oct. 27 as Utah’s Reggie Dunn also accomplished the feat.
Another C-USA record that went down was kickoff return average for a game, as McDuffie averaged 97.5 yards on his two returns. Currently, his six career returns for touchdowns are first all-time at UCF and second in C-USA, while his 2,365 career return yards are first at UCF and eighth in C-USA history.
For the season, McDuffie has three returns for six points, and averages 40.5 yards per return thanks to 446 yards on 11 attempts. His three touchdowns are tied with Todd Cleveland (1994) for the Knights’ single-season record.
Murray had three rushing touchdowns at Marshall as well as a receiving touchdown, marking his first-career four-touchdown performance. He produced back-to-back 100-yard rushing games for the first time, as he finished with 16 carries for 156 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown which tied for the seventh-longest rush in school history.
Over on defense, Green was the College Sports Madness C-USA Defensive Player of the Week by producing two sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss in his first-career start. He became the first UCF freshman since Bruce Miller in 2007 (2.0 vs. Tulsa Oct. 20) to have two sacks in a single game.
The Knights have won four-straight contests, and will host SMU for Homecoming Saturday at 7 p.m. The Mustangs are in second place in the West Division with a 3-1 league mark (4-4 overall).
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