COACHES: UCF - Mike Kruczek (35-26, sixth season); OU - Brian Knorr (6-22, third season).
NOTES: UCF needed last week's 19-10 victory over Buffalo at the Citrus Bowl. To win this Mid-American Conference matchup, Kruczek might employ the same strategy: a relentless running attack. The Golden Knights rushed for 298 yards, a record for a home game under the coach. UCF averaged 5.4 yards. Alex Haynes ran for 165 yards, backup quarterback Jon Rivera (in place of injured Ryan Schneider) had 89 and Hernando High product Dee Brown had 49. But Rivera's 59 passing yards were the lowest since 1985 Can the Knights win again throwing so little? The Bobcats are hurting: linebacker Spencer Tatum had hip surgery Sept. 5, backup halfback Justin Roush tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the opener, quarterback Fred Ray sprained his shoulder last week and slotback Stafford Owens left with a sprained ankle.
FAMU (4-2) AT HOWARD (1-3)
WHEN/WHERE: Noon; William H. Greene Stadium, Washington.
COACHES: FAMU - Billy Joe (81-34, 10th season; 232-96-4 overall); HU - Rayford Petty (7-8, second season).
NOTES: These teams first met in 1933, but Florida A&M's rise to I-A will end the series. Ben Dougherty is looking healthy in the Rattlers pocket and is 100-for-152 for 1,128 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions. Rashard Pompey's 300 yards lead the rushing attack, and Rod Miller (278 yards) and Cardan Alexander (300) each have caught two TDs each as the top receiving threats. FAMU is riding a three-game winning streak and faces a Howard team that struggles to pass. Antoine Rutherford leads the squad with 302 rushing yards and a touchdown, but quarterback Marcus Moreno is just 37-for-68 passes for 346 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. Last year the Bison edged the Rattlers 28-24 in the final minutes, though FAMU outgained Howard.
NOTES: Bethune-Cookman's Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title defense started taking on water after last week's 31-24 home loss to Morgan State. Wildcats quarterback Allen Suber was held to 88 passing yards and 32 rushing. Though he managed to throw for a touchdown and run for two more, the Tampa Catholic grad's production needs to return to the levels that made him the 2002 MEAC offensive player of the year. Inside linebacker Jamal Muhammad transferred from Ohio State because he wanted to tackle people, not block them. He's doing it at B-CC with 36 tackles and 31/2 sacks. Delaware State, coming off a 41-9 loss last week to Hampton, provides B-CC with a quick way to get back into the conference race.
- Compiled by Jamal Thalji.[Last modified October 11, 2003, 02:08:56]