The 2014 season marks UCF's second as a member of The American. UCF set a program mark with its first undefeated home record since moving into Bright House Networks Stadium in 2007. On November 1, Connecticut snapped UCF's 11-game undefeated conference winning streak. The Knights were 8–0 in American Athletic Conference play in 2013, and won their first three conference games in 2014 to sit at 11–0 up to that point.
After a last-second loss to Penn State in the Croke Park Classic on opening day, the Knights lost at eventual SEC Eastern division winning Missouri. The Knights won nine of their next ten games, and became bowl eligible in mid-November. UCF clinched a share of the conference title on December 4 by virtue of a 51-yard Hail Mary touchdown as time expired at East Carolina. The Knights finished the regular season unranked, but received votes in both the AP and Coaches polls. They will play NC State in the St. Petersburg Bowl.
The 2014 schedule was officially released by The American on February 12, 2014. The 2014 schedule was developed as a "bridge" schedule, as a permanent system will be developed by the conference to address expanded membership and the creation of divisions by 2015. UCF will face eight conference opponents: Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, SMU, South Florida, Temple, Tulane, and Tulsa.
The Knights are also scheduled to play four non-conference games: Penn State (Big Ten), Missouri (SEC), Bethune-Cookman (FCS), and BYU (IND). UCF will have three bye weeks in the 2014 season: their first during week two, before facing Missouri, the second during week five, before facing Houston, and the third during week nine, before facing Tulsa. UCF's opener in Dublin, Ireland marks the first time that the team will play outside the United States.
PSU – Sam Ficken 24 yard field goal, 3:30 (PSU 23–17)
UCF – Justin Holman 6 yard run, 1:13 (UCF 24–23)
PSU – Sam Ficken 36 yard field goal, 0:00 (PSU 26–24)
Justin Holman – 9/14, 204 YDS, TD
Dontravious Wilson – 21 CAR, 34 YDS
J.J. Worton – 5 REC, 83 YDS
This was the fourth meeting between the Knights and Nittany Lions, with Penn State now holding a 3–1 record. UCF won the last meeting in 2013, 34–31. With both teams experiencing significant changes from the prior season, including both Blake Bortles and Storm Johnson who entered the 2014 NFL Draft, the two teams started slow. The Knights offense was anemic in the first half behind redshirtfreshman Pete DiNovo. Once DiNovo was replaced by sophomore quarterback Justin Holman in the third quarter, UCF's offense quickly gained traction, starting with a 70 yard drive which culminated with a quarterback sneak into the end zone. The Knights and Nittany Lions traded scores, and down by six points with 3:30 remaining, Holman led the Knights on a 75 yard touchdown drive capped off by a six yard run by the quarterback. Unfortunately, the quick scoring drive left enough time on the clock for Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg to get the Nittany Lions in field goal range. As time expired, Sam Ficken hit a 36 yard field goal which gave Penn State the 26–24 win.
The loss snapped UCF's nine game winning streak dating back to October 5, 2013 – the third longest active streak amongst FBS schools at the time. It was also the Knights first loss to an unranked team since December 1, 2012. For Penn State, the victory marked the first for new head coach James Franklin. This was also UCF's first game played outside the United States, and the 2014 Croke Park Classic became the highest-attended college football game ever played in Ireland.
After taking a 10–7 lead midway through the second quarter, the Tigers took control and scored 31 unanswered points to win 38–7. Mizzou quarterback Maty Mauk threw four touchdowns and one pick for 144 yards. UCF QB Justin Holman, earning his first career start, threw 209 yards and one touchdown. The Knights defense surrendered 322 yards of offense, 144 through the air and 178 on the ground. RB William Stanback had 33 yards on 15 carries, and WR Rannell Hall had 73 yards on 8 receptions. UCF and Mizzou had met once previously, a 2012 match-up in Orlando that Mizzou won 21–16. The loss marked UCF's first against a ranked team in its last three chances, and led to UCF's first 0–2 start since the team went winless in 2004.
UCF – William Stanback 2 yard field run, 5:09 (UCF 41–7)
Justin Holman – 6/11, 135 YDS, 2 TD
William Stanback – 15 CAR, 104 YDS, 2 TD
Breshad Perriman – 3 REC, 98 YDS, TD
The Knights started slow, trailing the Wildcats late in the first-quarter before UCF answered with 41 unanswered points. UCF had won the last game against Bethune-Cookman in 1995 with a score of 38-7. This victory marked the first win for the Knights this season, and the Knights now have an 11-5 winning record against the Wildcats. Quarterback Justin Holman 6-for-11 for 145 yards and two touchdowns. RB William Stanback rushed for a then-season-high 104 yards and two scores. Senior WR Breshad Perriman had 3 receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. UCF's defense held BCU to 173 total yards of offense behind five first-half sacks.
For the second consecutive year, the Knights won a close contest against the Cougars. UCF and Houston played five times previously, with UCF winning four games, including a 19–14 homecoming contest in 2013 that helped to secure UCF's first BCS bid. The Knights took a 7–6 lead into halftime, and scored two more times to take a 17–6 lead into the third quarter. Houston responded with two field goals to narrow the score to 17–12. After holding the Cougars to four field goals, UCF prevailed 17–12, capped off by a remarkable goal line stand in the final seconds. Brandon Alexander saved the game for the Knights when he hit Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr.'s arm and knocked the ball loss for a touchback as he dove and stretched for the end-zone pylon with 24 seconds left in the game. Holman was 6-of-8 for 101 yards and two scores, Stanback had 44 yards on 14 carries, and Perriman had one touchdown reception for 52 yards.
This was the second meeting between the program's, with the Cougars winning the only prior game 24–17 in 2011. After the injury to Taysom Hill in the previous game against Utah State, Christian Stewart started his first game for BYU at QB. The Knights defense proved tough as UCF sacked Stewart twice, forcing one fumble, and intercepting one of his passes. After the Knights opened a 10–3 lead going into the half, the Cougar's defense stopped UCF's offense from scoring on 8 consecutive possessions. The defense picked off two UCF passes and forced two UCF fumbles, allowing BYU to have the short field and take the lead in the third quarter. The defensive stand led to 21 unanswered points by BYU. Down 24–10 late in the third quarter, Holman led the Knights on two late drives to tie the game. With 10 minutes left, and after BYU jumped into the neutral zone, Holman found Josh Reese for a 37 yard touchdown pass to tie the game. With the opportunity to take the lead, UCF missed two late field goals in the fourth, forcing the game into overtime.
In overtime, William Stanback caught a 4 yard pass from Holman to give the Knights a 31–24 lead. The Knights defense stood strong, and for the second consecutive game won the match-up on a goal-line stand after stopping the Courages on fourth down in the redzone.
This was the first meeting of Knights and Green Wave as members of The American. The two programs had met five times previously as members of C-USA, with UCF winning four including a 61–14 blowout in 2010. The Knights survived four turnovers – two fumbles and two interceptions – and 67 penalty yards to win the match-up. The game was a test of defenses, with the first score being a 21-yard field goal for Tulane by Andrew DiRocco with five minutes remaining in the first. The Knights responded with a 47-yard field goal by Shawn Moffit seven minutes later. UCF tacked on ten more points before the half, a rushing TD by RB William Stanback and a 30-yard field goal by Moffit. After the half, the Green Wave answered with a field goal. After being replaced in the second quarter by backup QB Nick Patti, Holman reentered the game in the second half and led UCF on a three-play 49-yard drive including a 45-yard touchdown pass to Breshad Perriman. Tulane scored the last points of the game with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter on a 9 yard rushing touchdown by Lazedrick Thompson.
UCF – William Stanback 2 yard run, 0:14 (UCF 34–14)
Justin Holman – 25/39, 336 YDS, 2 TD
William Stanback – 27 CAR, 94 YDS, 2 TD
Breshad Perriman – 7 REC, 146 YDS, TD
The Knights dominated both facets of the game, outgaining Temple 466 to 182 yards. UCF had won the only previous meeting between the two programs in a dramatic 39–36 victory in 2013. The Knights scored quickly on a 25 yard pass from Justin Holman to JJ Worton and never looked back, taking a 17–0 lead on their first three drives. Holman was 25-of-39 for a season-high 336 yards and three touchdowns. William Stanback had two touchdowns on 94 yards, and senior WR Breshad Perriman had seven receptions for 146 yards. The Knights 446 yards were the most since the 556 yards gained against Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl.
UConn ended UCF's American conference win-streak at eleven games, handing the Knights their first regular season conference loss since November 2012 against Tulsa. The Knights had won the only previous meeting between the two programs in a blowout 62–17 home victory in 2013. The victory was UConn's first against an FBS opponent in 2014. Justin Holman's four interceptions coupled with special team troubles spelled doom for UCF's effort to remain unbeaten in conference play for a second straight year. William Stanback had a season-high 141 rushing yards and two touchdowns. JJ Worton had eleven receptions for 178 yards, including a 73 yard touchdown pass from Holman in the third quarter – the Knights longest play from scrimmage this season.
UCF – Dontravious Wilson 1 yard run, 1:09 (UCF 31–7)
Justin Holman – 16/27, 291 YDS, 3 TD
Dontravious Wilson – 17 CAR, 87 YDS, TD
Josh Reese – 4 REC, 104 YDS, TD
This game marked the Knights' 50th at Bright House Networks Stadium. The Knights and Golden Hurricane had met seven previous times, all as members of Conference USA. The Golden Hurricane won five including the last game for the 2012 conference championship 33–27 in overtime. The Knights gained 501 yards of total offense and held the Golden Hurricane to 201 total yards. UCF also controlled the time of possession, 37 minutes to 23 minutes for Tulsa. Justin Holman was sixteen-of-twenty-seven for 291 yards and Dontravious Wilson rushed for 87 yards on 17 carries. Kickers Shawn Moffit and Sean Galvin were suspended for the game, with Rodrigo Quirarte taking over kicking duties and going one-for-three.
UCF dominated both sides of the ball in a 53–7 win. The victory marked the first time in over a decade that the Knights went a perfect 6–0 at home. UCF and SMU previously met six time, with UCF winning five including the last game which clinched The American's 2013 conference championship 17–13 in Dallas. The Knights defense held the Mustangs to four first downs and 116 total yards. The four touchdowns are the least UCF has ever allowed against an FBS opponent. QB Justin Holman was fifteen-of-twenty-two for 228 yards and two touchdowns. Senior LB Michael Easton had the Knights first kick return of the year in the second quarter, and senior WR JJ Worton had two receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown. UCF's defense forced five turnovers.
UCF – Mike White Safety by Thomas Niles, 5:07 (UCF 16–0)
Justin Holman – 20/29, 149 YDS, TD, INT
Rannell Hall – 10 CAR, 65 YDS, TD
Breshad Perriman – 6 REC, 55 YDS, TD
This was the sixth meeting of the I–4 Corridor Clash. South Florida won the first four games in the series, and UCF won the last meeting 23–20 in 2013. After a scoreless first quarter, Holman led the Knights on a 17-play, 80 yard scoring drive to open the second quarter. The Knights held the Bulls offense to a three-and-out on the next series, which was followed by an 8-play, 73 yard scoring drive by UCF capped off by a 21 yard run from Rannell Hall. UCF held South Florida to 200 yards of total offense, 5 yards rushing, and forced three turnovers on downs. The Bulls missed a field goal and were not able to convert on three UCF turnovers. With the victory, UCF needs one more win to clinch a share of their second consecutive American conference championship. This was UCF's 14th straight win in a non-Saturday game and the first time in the rivalry that a team was shutout. The game was also the first time that South Florida was held scoreless at home in program history, and the first ever road shutout in a conference game for UCF.
UCF – Breshad Perriman 51 yard pass from Justin Holman (No XP attempt), 0:00 (ECU 32–30)
Justin Holman – 18/33, 274 YDS
William Stanback – 24 CAR, 101 YDS, 2 TD
Breshad Perriman – 4 REC, 139 YDS
UCF and East Carolina 12 games previously, with the Pirates holding 9–3 advantage in the series. UCF won the last meeting in 40–20 in 2012. Both teams entered with identical 8–3 records (UCF 6–1, ECU 5–2 American), with East Carolina looking to upset UCF's hope of winning a conference title. The Knight's defense proved strong, as East Carolina was held to fourteen rushing yards. After UCF took a 26–9 lead with 7:39 left in the third quarter, the Pirates scored 21 unanswered to take a 30–26 lead with 2:17 left in the game. The Knights turned the ball over on downs after failing to convert on 4th and 20 with 1:47 remaining. Poor clock management by the Pirates enabled the Knights to get the ball back at their own 35 with ten seconds left. UCF QB Justin Holman completed a 14 yard out route to WR Josh Reese with five seconds remaining. As time expired, Holman completed a 51 yard Hail Mary pass to WR Breshad Perriman for the score, giving the Knights a 32–30 win. Holman was eighteen-for-thirty-three for 274 yards and Stanback had 101 yards on 24 carries for two scores. With the victory, the Knights clinched a share of the American Athletic Conference title, earning the program's second consecutive conference championship, and fourth since 2007.
This will be UCF's third appearance in the St. Petersburg Bowl bowl. The Knights were defeated by Rutgers in 2009, and beat Ball State in 2012. UCF and NC State last met in a 2010 match-up won by the Wolfpack 28–21.
Each year several publications release lists of the their ideal "team". The athletes on these lists are referred to as All-Americans. The NCAA recognizes five All-American lists. They are the Associated Press (AP), American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Sporting News (TSN), and the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF).