NC State Wolfpack vs. UFC Knights
Friday – December 26 – 7:00 pm
Tropicana Field – St. Petersburg
North Carolina State Wolfpack (7-5 Overall)
The Wolfpack got out to a great start to the 2014 season – starting off with a 4-0 record, and then won three of its last four games to finish the season with a 7-5 mark. NC State won its last two contests of the regular season by a combined 77-20 margin.
In the past two games, NC State has scored all 11 times it’s reached the red zone. And the Wolfpack’s all-time leading scorer Niklas Sade has had nothing to do with that success either, as all 10 visits to the red zone have resulted in touchdowns.
NC State’s dual threat players to watch. Sophomore running back Matt Dayes could be the most versatile offensive player in the ACC. Dayes ranks eighth in the ACC in all-purpose yardage, but among the players ranked in the league’s top 10, his yards are the most evenly distributed between rushing, receiving and returns.
According to ESPN, that dual-threat stat (300/300 and 5/5) is something just 12 other AQ-conference players have done in the past decade. Some of those other players include such notables as: Todd Gurley, De’Anthony Thomas, Giovanni Bernard, Montee Ball, Randall Cobb, DeMarco Murray, Brian Leonard and Percy Harvin.
Freshman wide receiver Bo Hines has been QB Jacoby Brissett’s favorite target in 2014. The Charlotte native leads the team with 42 receptions, and posts a 12.8 yards per catch average. Hines turned in the team’s longest play of the game against top-ranked Florida State, taking the Wolfpack’s second play of the game to the house for a 54-yard touchdown. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett has given each of the three a nickname based on what he feels is their strength to the offense. He calls Thornton “The Punisher,” C Reecy is “The Creator” and Dayes is “The Finesser.”
University of Central Florida Knights (9-3 Overall)
Led by Coach George O’Leary, the Knights come in to St. Petersburg as the odds on favorite. In spite of losing the first two games of the season. Coach O’Leary put his “Takeover Plan” together. He began to unleash his defense on all opposing running backs and quarterbacks.
Phil Steele Publications announced sophomore corner back Jacoby Glenn received a spot on its All-America Fourth Team. Earlier in the week, No. 12 for the Knights was named to the prestigious Associated Press All-America Second Team. Glenn also was the American Athletic Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year and on the league’s first team. In 2013, he was a Freshman All-American, along with earning a spot on the All-AAC First Team.
Glenn joined junior wide receiver Breshad Perriman, senior linebacker Terrance Plummer, senior defensive back Clayton Geathers and senior punt returner J.J. Worton on the Phil Steele All-AAC First Team. Meanwhile, true freshman offensive lineman Chavis Dickey earned Freshman All-America Honorable Mention status from CollegeFootballNews.com.
A native of Georgia, Dickey is the first true freshman to start on the offensive line since 2006. No. 79 started the second game of the year and has not looked back, starting every game since at right tackle. The Knight has 14, All-Conference and All American performers 10 on the defensive side and 3 on the offensive side.
With a high powered offense and stingy defense in this year’s Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. This game will be very competitive and close until the forth quarter. The UCF Knights will pull it out. Final score: UCF 30 – NC State 21