Ten years ago, UCF moved from the Citrus Bowl to a new on-campus football stadium. The Knights opened the former Bright House Networks Stadium, now Spectrum Stadium, on September 15th, 2007, against 6th-ranked Texas. It is one of the more memorable games in UCF history, but not the only that has been played in the ten years since. Here is our list of the 10 most memorable games played at Spectrum Stadium.
October 8, 2011: UCF 16, Marshall 6
With all the talk about bad weather conditions, it is fitting I start the list with a game that had the worst conditions ever played on campus.
Running back Brynn Harvey rushed 30 times for 180 yards and quarterback Jeff Godfrey threw his first passing touchdown of the season as the Knights held on to beat Marshall, 16-6, in a game that was played in a steady downpour that started the night before and continued all day Saturday, intensifying throughout the game. According to weather records, 7-plus inches of rain fell the day of the game, making it the wettest October day in Orlando since 1950. The Knights' win gave George O'Leary his 100th career victory.
September 28, 2013: #12 South Carolina 28, UCF 25
Yes, I know it is a loss - the only loss the Knights had in 2013. But this game still had historical meaning for the program. This game marked the first time that UCF would play on national network television as they hosted the legendary Head Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier, and South Carolina. It is also the most-watched UCF regular season game in Orlando and is the second most-watched UCF game in Orlando behind only the Fiesta Bowl win over Baylor. The South Carolina game did a monster 11.5 local rating in Orlando - 243,500 viewers. To put that in perspective, last year's UCF game at Michigan, which was also televised on ABC, did a good 4.4 local rating.
The game would also feature future 2014 NFL Draft #1 overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina, who is the only #1 overall draft pick to play at the on-campus stadium. Also on same field was Blake Bortles, who would end up going third overall in the same draft.
October 13, 2012: UCF 38, Southern Miss 31 (2OT)
It was the Knights' first-ever double-overtime game in program history (the only other time was last year against Maryland). Southern Miss would go 0-12 on the season, which is why this game misses the top 10. It was UCF's first win over Southern Miss since 2007 and it came in dramatic fashion:
#10 - 2010 Conference USA Championship: #25 UCF 17, SMU 7
December 4, 2010
Latavius Murray rushed for 94 yards and scored two touchdowns, leading UCF to a 17-7 victory over SMU and its second Conference USA championship. The Knights were sent to the Liberty Bowl, where they would end up claiming the program's first bowl win, defeating Georgia.
#9 - UCF 31, BYU 24 (OT)
October 9, 2014
UCF came back from a 24-10 deficit to beat BYU in overtime in front of an ESPN audience. I'll never forget walking back to the parking lot after the game and running into an exhausted Terrance Plummer, who was just laying down on the ground after playing one of best games any Knight linebacker has ever played. Plummer set a career-high with 17 tackles. He also recorded a sack, 4.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.
#8 - UCF 36, UTEP 20
November 24, 2007
Kevin Smith ran for 219 yards and a touchdown on a school-record 46 carries, becoming the 13th player in Division I history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in the process. The win also secured the C-USA Eastern Division title and a berth in the 2007 C-USA Championship Game.
#7 - UCF 21, Marshall 20
November 1, 2009
What is it about Marshall and UCF with bad weather? UCF came back from trailing 20-7 in the fourth quarter, aided by a Marshall fumble with 2:12 remaining that gave the Knights new life. Brett Hodges would find Rocky Ross for the game-winning touchdown with 23 seconds left. The win helped the Knights run to the St. Petersburg Bowl that year.
#6 - UCF 30, Boston College 3
September 10, 2011
September 10, 2011 marked a very special and emotional day both on and off the field. Most of the sellout crowd was honoring Welles Crowther and all of the innocent victims affected on 9/11 by wearing red bandanas. The Knights also hosted Power Five school Boston College, which was led by future NFL star linebacker Luke Kuechly. The game would be all Knights. Boston College would go on to a 4-8 season in 2011, and the Knights ended struggling as well, going 5-7. That's why this game is not ranked higher.
#5 - #6 Texas 35, UCF 32
September 15, 2007
I know, I know, we lost this game. It was a gut-wrenching loss. But damn, what a game, what an atmosphere and what a day! The first-ever game on campus and it was BLEEPING Texas!
#4 - UCF 37, #12 Houston 32
November 14, 2009
In its Homecoming game, UCF gets the program's first win over a top-25 team, beating Kevin Sumlin's Houston Cougars.
#3 - #19 UCF 19, Houston 14
November 9, 2013
How big was this game? Check out ESPN's College Gameday preview:
This game turned out to be a defensive struggle and came down to the most memorable goal-line stand in program history, "keeping the dream alive," as Marc Daniels would say on his radio call of the final play as the Knights' chances for a BCS bowl berth survived.
#2 - #17 UCF 23, USF 20
November 29, 2013
On Black Friday, it was USF looking to spoil UCF's dream of a BCS berth and AAC Championship. I was on the sideline in the fourth quarter, standing next to UCFSports.com's Brandon Helwig and UCF radio sideline reporter Jerry O'Neill, and the Knights played as ugly as they looked (Seriously, what were they thinking with that jersey-helmet combo?). UCF was down 20-16 with five minutes to go in the game. I still remember the play like it was yesterday: Blake Bortles pumps and goes deep to Breshad Perriman for a 52-yard touchdown to give UCF the lead. It all happened right in front of me. The Knights' defense would close it out with an interception and wrap up the AAC regular season title.
#1 - 2007 Conference USA Championship: UCF 44, Tulsa 25
December 1, 2007
A magical first year at a new stadium on campus was capped by UCF hosting the C-USA Championship Game against Tulsa.
Two years earlier, UCF hosted Tulsa in the C-USA Championship at the Citrus Bowl. The Knights lost that game and the chance for the program's first-ever conference championship. This time, however, the game was on campus, and Kevin Smith made sure history would not repeat itself. 24K destroyed Tulsa's defense and put on one of greatest single-game performances any Knight has ever had on the gridiron.
The Knights would win the program's first-ever conference championship and the on-campus celebration was on.
Missing one? Got a different #1? Let us know below.