For the second-straight season, the UCF football team leads Conference USA with the most players on NFL opening-day rosters. In all, 14 Knights are representing the Black and Gold in the NFL this year, which is two more than last year’s total of 12.
Behind UCF in C-USA is Houston, Marshall and Memphis, which all have 12 players on NFL rosters.
Four Knights received starts on offense, highlighted by 2007 consensus All-American running back Kevin Smith, who had a 5-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter before catching the game-winning touchdown pass with 10 seconds left to give the Detroit Lions a 27-23 win over the St. Louis Rams.
Making his debut with the Chicago Bears, wide receiver Brandon Marshall put his new team ahead for good with a 3-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter vs. the Indianapolis Colts in a 41-21 win. Marshall finished with nine receptions for 119 yards.
In one of the biggest games of the day, fullback Bruce Miller caught a 15-yard pass for a first down and helped the San Francisco 49ers rack up 377 yards of total offense in a 30-22 road win against the Green Bay Packers and former UCF offensive lineman Josh Sitton.
On defense, safety Atari Bigby appeared in his first game as a San Diego Charger, amassing eight tackles and one pass break-up in a win over the Oakland Raiders. Meanwhile, cornerback Asante Samuel debuted with the Atlanta Falcons in their victory against the Kansas City Chiefs as he posted three tackles and a break-up, and cornerback Josh Robinson made his NFL debut with the Minnesota Vikings by having three tackles in an overtime win vs. Jacksonville.
And kicker Matt Prater continued where he left off in 2011 by going 1-for-1 in field goals and 2-for-2 in extra points as the Denver Broncos topped the Pittsburgh Steelers.
UCF Knights in the NFL