KNIGHTS

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS - [email protected]­lan­dosen­tinel.com

we’re go­ing to come in here and at­tack like we’re play­ing the No. 1 team in the na­tion.”

Mar­shall has won six of its last seven games thanks, in part, to top Con­fer­ence USA run­ning back Bren­don Knox. The sopho­more was named the con­fer­ence MVP af­ter lead­ing the league in rush­ing with 1,284 yards and 11 touch­downs.

“He’s a big guy, one of the big­gest backs that we’ve faced,” UCF ju­nior line­backer Eric Mitchell said. “It’s a chal­lenge for us and some­thing we like to see.”

The Knights rank sec­ond in the coun­try in tack­les for loss (113), av­er­ag­ing 9.42 per game, which can present a chal­lenge.

“They’re fast, ath­letic, and dis­ci­plined,” Mar­shall of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Tim Cram­sey said. “They’re a very good de­fense. Their of­fense gets a lot of the credit, but their de­fense is very good.”

The chal­lenge for the Thun­der­ing Herd is slow­ing down a UCF of­fense that ranks sixth in the coun­try in scor­ing (43 points per game) and that has recorded 105 ex­plo­sive plays of at least 20 yards this sea­son.

“Speed, and the per­son­nel. How they op­er­ate,” said Mar­shall line­backer Ta­vante Beck­ett, who leads C-USA with 114 tack­les. “You’ve got to get the call and get set. There is no time, and that’s where they cap­i­tal­ize. Once you’re out of your po­si­tion, they have the peo­ple and the speed to make the plays.

“We just got to get the call and be in our gap and play Mar­shall foot­ball. We’ll be fine.”

UCF could be with­out two of their top of­fen­sive threats when the Knights take the field.

Re­ceiver Gabriel Davis, who led the Amer­i­can Ath­letic Con­fer­ence with 1,241 yards, de­clared he was leav­ing school early to en­ter the NFL draft. Se­nior run­ning back Adrian Killins (629 yards) posted a thank you to fans on so­cial me­dia, stat­ing it was time to fo­cus on his fu­ture and his NFL dreams.

UCF coach Josh He­u­pel de­clined to com­ment on the sta­tus of both play­ers or any oth­ers who might be un­avail­able for the game.

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