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UCF Knights kickoff season

UCF's Quincy McDuffie could be a big factor this season after a breakout year last year.

UCF's Quincy McDuffie could be a big factor this season after a breakout year last year.

Isaac Babcock

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History may favor Akron in their first game against UCF since 2004, but recent history says it'll be all Knights. The teams will kick off the season together in Akron on Thursday, Aug. 30, for the first time since UCF had a quarterback who threw the ball more often than he ran it.

UCF's Steven Moffett threw for more than 300 yards in that 2004 game while the Knights amassed a noticeably un-Knightly 48 rushing yards en route to a narrow 26-21 loss after a comeback fell short for UCF.

But that was a long time ago. In that time the Knights' defense has grown to be ranked No. 9 in the nation last, year, while Akron went 1-11 in 2011 and gave up three times as many scores as they made.

This season the Zips will be platooning up to a small handful of quarterbacks in search of one who will carry them beyond their lone win of 2011.

For the Knights, the disappointment of a 5-7 showing, with six of their losses by a touchdown or less, still stings. But this time they have a dedicated quarterback in sophomore Blake Bortles, who showed command and longball prowess on the field last season while trading field time with option QB Jeff Godfrey. It's Godfrey who could be one of Bortles' top receivers this year at wideout.

They could connect on their first official pass after the 7 p.m. kickoff tonight (Aug. 30) in Akron. The game will be televised on ESPN3.