2002 UCF Golden Knights football team

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2002 UCF Golden Knights football
UCF Golden Knights logo.png
Conference Mid-American Conference East
2002 record 7–5 (6–2 MAC)
Head coach Mike Kruczek (5th year)
Home stadium Citrus Bowl
(Capacity: 65,438)
Seasons
« 2001 2003 »
2002 Mid-American Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East
#24 Marshall x   7 1         11 2  
UCF   6 2         7 5  
Miami   5 3         7 5  
Ohio   4 4         4 8  
Akron   3 5         4 8  
Kent State   1 7         3 9  
Buffalo   0 8         1 11  
West
Toledo xy   7 1         9 5  
Northern Illinois x   7 1         8 4  
Bowling Green   6 2         9 3  
Ball State   4 4         6 6  
Western Michigan   3 5         4 8  
Central Michigan   2 6         4 8  
Eastern Michigan   1 7         3 9  
Championship: Marshall 49, Toledo 45
† – Conference champion
x – Division champion/co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2002 UCF Golden Knights football team represented the University of Central Florida in the 2002 NCAA Division I-A football season. Their head coach was Mike Kruczek, who was in his fifth season with the team. 2002 marked the Golden Knights first season in the Mid-American Conference, in the East Division. This was the first time UCF had joined a conference since ascending to the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision in 1996.

On opening day, UCF once again played up to a ranked opponent on the road, but failed to pull off the upset. Trailing 10–9 at halftime against Penn State, a near-disastrous third quarter saw the Golden Knights fall behind 20–9. In the fourth quarter UCF rallied. Quarterback Ryan Schneider capped off an 80–yard drive with a 6–yard touchdown pass to Travil Capers with 24 seconds to go. With the score 27–24, a failed onside kick attempt sealed the victory for the Nittany Lions.[1]

UCF's first conference game came on September 20 against eventual MAC champion Marshall. With Thundering Herd quarterback Byron Leftwich faltering throughout the night, UCF largely failed to capitalize. Trailing 21–26 in the final three minutes, UCF intercepted Leftwich, and subsequently drove to the Marshall 26–yard line. Facing 4th & 3 at the Marshall 26, Ryan Schneider was picked off by Terence Tarpley. Marshall ran out the clock, and held on for the victory. The Knights first conference victory in the MAC came at Western Michigan on October 12. Finishing the season with a winning record (7–5 overall, 6–2 conference), UCF did not receive a bowl berth.

Season schedule[edit]

The Citrus Bowl, the Knights home field.
Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
August 31 12:10pm at #23 Penn State* Beaver StadiumUniversity Park, PA ESPN L 24–27   103,029
September 7 10:00pm at Arizona State* Sun Devil StadiumTempe, AZ L 13–46   43,401
September 20 7:00pm at Marshall Marshall University StadiumHuntington, WV ESPN2 L 21–26   32,900
September 28 6:00pm Liberty* Citrus BowlOrlando, FL W 48–17   20,416
October 12 3:30pm at Western Michigan Waldo StadiumKalamazoo, MI W 31–27   21,505
October 19 6:00pm Toledo Citrus Bowl • Orlando, FL SUN L 24–27   17,119
October 26 4:00pm Akrondagger Citrus Bowl • Orlando, FL W 28–17   18,278
November 2 7:00pm Syracuse Citrus Bowl • Orlando, FL ESPN L 35–38   24,043
November 9 1:00pm at Buffalo* UB StadiumBuffalo, NY W 45–21   6,923
November 16 6:00pm Kent State Citrus Bowl • Orlando, FL W 32–6   7,354
November 23 1:30pm at Miami (OH) Yager StadiumOxford, OH W 48–31   7,962
November 30 1:00pm Ohio Citrus Bowl • Orlando, FL W 42–32   12,462
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.

References[edit]