American Athletic Conference

Carnahan Coverage: No. 22 UCF baseball pushing for first postseason trip since 2012

The UCF baseball team reached a regional championship game in 2012, capping a back-to-back run in the postseason with one of the strongest squads in recent memory.

A year ago the Knights lineup featured a majority of players new to the program, yet they barely missed out on being selected for the NCAA Tournament.

Entering this season UCF has just five players on roster from that 2012 team. But the experience this group garnered a year ago has them ranked No. 22 in the Baseball America preseason rankings.

I spoke with senior JoMarcos Woods and head coach Terry Rooney for the Orlando Sentinel this week about how valuable that experience will be this year. The Knights will face five teams this season that open ranked in the Top 25.

Carnahan Coverage: Temple routs UCF in men’s basketball

ORLANDO, Fla. – Will Cummings has been hampered by a leg injury over the past few weeks, but in his return to the Sunshine State on Wednesday he helped Temple terrorize UCF to the tune of 86-62.

Family and friends made the trip from Jacksonville to see Cummings in action and he did not disappoint, finishing with 14 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Read more about the game in a story I wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News.

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Interview with UCFSports.com publisher Brandon Helwig

The UCF Knights football team capped its regular season with a miracle in the closing seconds on the road against East Carolina, when Justin Holman connected with Breshad Perriman on the game’s final play to help wrap up a share of the American Athletic Conference title for the second year in a row.

UCFSports.com publisher Brandon Helwig was there to see it all play out firsthand and he’ll be in St. Petersburg on Friday when the Knights take on North Carolina State of the Atlantic Coast Conference in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl.

On Saturday Helwig joined the show to talk about UCF’s big win at ECU, to preview the upcoming bowl game, and touch on how much longer he thinks head coach George O’Leary might continue coaching and whether the Knights have a realistic chance at improving its conference affiliation in the near future.

( – Click here for J.C.’s interview with Brandon Helwig of UCFSports.com – )

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Carnahan Coverage: Temple becomes latest foe to fall at hands of UCF

The UCF Knights have yet to drop an American Athletic Conference game in the second year of the league’s existence. Despite a close outcome a season ago, Temple showed little fight on Saturday as the Owls were turned away 34-14 at Bright House Networks Stadium.

Two different quarterbacks combined for three interceptions for Temple as both P.J. Walker and Connor Reilly were largely ineffective. The Owls also lost a fumble and surrendered four sacks.

UCF outgained Temple 466-182 in total yards and held them to just 3 of 13 conversions on third down, in what was just another day at the office for a defense that improved the Knights to 5-2 overall and 3-0 in AAC play.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story on Temple at UCF for the Philadelphia Inquirer – )

Carnahan Coverage: Quarterback Nick Montana not good enough for Tulane on road at UCF

Backup quarterback Nick Montana had a chance to make his mark under center for Tulane while in Orlando as his hall of fame dad watched from the stands against UCF.

Joe Montana is known for taking part in thrilling finishes as a quarterback in college at Notre Dame and in the NFL while with the San Francisco 49ers. Nick is more likely to be remembered for his mishaps on Saturday, which included errant passes and spiking the ball on fourth down with seconds remaining before halftime of the Green Wave’s 20-13 loss to the Knights.

Montana finished 18 of 42 passing for 147 yards and two interceptions. Many of his passes fell out of the reach of his intended receivers or failed to travel far enough to move the chains. Twice in the fourth quarter Tulane took possession with the chance to tie the game, only to fall short despite the Green Wave defense forcing four turnovers in the loss.

“We just didn’t take advantage of some of the turnovers our defense gave us,” Tulane coach Curtis Johnson said. “We’ve got to get to the point where, offensively, we can make touchdowns or field goals or something when they give us the ball way down there.”

The Green Wave defense has recorded at least one takeaway in 16-straight games and in 31 of their last 32 outings.

It was the second-straight backup quarterback to enter Bright House Networks Stadium. The result was no different for the Knights the last time around.

( – Click here for J.C.’s story on Tulane’s 20-13 loss at UCF for The Times-Picayune – )