UCF vs. East Carolina

Shane Carden, #5 of East Carolina is sacked by Terrance Plummer, #41 of UCF, during the game at Bright House Networks Stadium, Thursday, October 4, 2012. (Hansong Gu, Orlando Sentinel / October 4, 2012)

UCF had arguably it’s best defensive outing on Saturday night, all but shutting down a Marshall offense that was ranked in the top five in the country entering the match-up.

UCF had its second highest sack output of the season and held Rakeem Cato to just 4.8 yards per attempt. The Herd also rushed for just 66 yards, the fourth time the Knights have held an opponent under 100 yards rushing this season.

The Knights needed just such a performance after some struggles against Southern Miss and Memphis, especially against the run, and the confidence has spilled over into this week.

“It’s a pretty good feeling stopping them like that,” sophomore middle linebacker Terrance Plummer said. “We still had some mistakes in the game, but I feel like we played a pretty solid game. But that game’s over, we got to get ready for SMU now, who also have a good offensive attack. It’s not as fast as Marshall’s is in terms of plays, but it’s just as effective in the passing game.”

SMU is averaging 117.5 rushing yards per game, 10th in the conference, but is fourth in the conference with 267.2 passing yards per game. The Mustangs are also averaging 31.8 points per game this season.

E-mail Paul Tenorio at ptenorio@orlandosentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @OSKnights.