1996 UCF Golden Knights football team

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1996 UCF Golden Knights football
UCF Golden Knights logo.png
Conference Independent
1996 record 5–6
Head coach Gene McDowell (12th year)
Home stadium Citrus Bowl
← 1995
1997 →
1996 Division I-A independents football records
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#25 Army           10 2  
Navy           9 3  
#19 Notre Dame           9 3  
East Carolina           8 3  
Louisiana Tech           6 5  
UAB           5 6  
UCF           5 6  
Southwestern Louisiana           5 6  
Northeast Louisiana           5 6  
Arkansas State           4 7  
Northern Illinois           1 10  
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1996 UCF Golden Knights football season was Gene McDowell's twelfth as the head coach of the Golden Knights. McDowell's 1986 team compiled a 6–5 overall record. The season marked UCF's first as a member of Division I-A, officially joining on September 1, 1996. At that time, the Knights became the first football program to play in four different NCAA divisions (III, II, I-AA and I-A).[1]

Quarterback Daunte Culpepper led the team to rank 16th in the nation in passing offense. The Golden Knights won their first game as a member of Division I-A, defeating William & Mary. UCF dropped 6 of their next 7 games, however, and finished with a record of 5-6.


The Citrus Bowl, the Knights home field.
Date Opponent Site Result Attendance
August 29 William & Mary* Citrus BowlOrlando, Florida W 39–33   18,013
September 7 at South Carolina* Williams-Brice StadiumColumbia, South Carolina L 14–33   76,411
September 14 at New Mexico* University StadiumAlbuquerque, New Mexico L 7–17   18,317
September 21 at Ball State* Scheumann StadiumMuncie, Indiana L 10–31   11,475
September 28 at East Carolina* Dowdy–Ficklen StadiumGreenville, North Carolina L 7–28   34,121
October 12 Samford* Citrus Bowl • Orlando, Florida W 38–6   12,122
October 19 Northeast Louisiana* Citrus Bowl • Orlando, Florida L 38–39   16,293
October 26 at Georgia Tech* Bobby Dodd StadiumAtlanta, Georgia L 20–27   43,610
November 2 Illinois State* Citrus Bowl • Orlando, Florida W 42–15   17,639
November 9 at UAB* Legion FieldBirmingham, Alabama W 35–13   12,500
November 16 Bowling Green* Citrus Bowl • Orlando, Florida W 27–19   14,112
*Non-conference game. All times are in Eastern Time.

Game summaries[edit]

  • October 26 - at Georgia Tech: UCF gives George O'Leary and Georgia Tech a scare, but five turnovers thwarted any chance of victory. Trailing 20-7 early in the fourth quarter, quarterback Daunte Culpepper was on the sidelines with an injured shoulder. Strong safety Donnell Washington grabbed a mid-air fumble and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown to trim the deficit to 20-13. After another Georgia Tech touchdown, UCF scored a touchdown with 40 seconds left in regulation to make the score 27-20. An onside kick attempt in the final minute failed, and the Golden Knights lost 27-20.[2]
  • November 9 - at UAB: Quarterback Daunte Culpepper has his best game of the season, completing 24 of 36 passes. He throws for 421 yards and three touchdown passes, as the Golden Knights win by the score of 35-13.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Daunte's World... Orlando's Biggest Attraction: Part 6 of 8 - The History of UCF Football". University of Central Florida Athletics Association. 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2012-06-05. 
  2. ^ Five Turnovers Costly To Ucf - Georgia Tech Prevails By 7
  3. ^ 2006 UCF Knights Football Media Guide