2009 UCF Knights football teamThe 2009 UCF Knights football team represented the University of Central Florida in the 2009 NCAA Division I FBS football season. Their head coach was George O'Leary, in his sixth season with the team. Coaching changes included new offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe. For the third season, the UCF Knights played all of their home games at Bright House Networks Stadium on the school's main campus in Orlando, Florida.
All games were broadcast live on the UCF-ISP Sports radio network. The flagship was WYGM "740 The Game" in Orlando, which had returned to a sports talk format after a year's absence but retained UCF's rights throughout. The games were called by Marc Daniels (play-by-play) and Gary Parris (color commentary), with Scott Adams and Jerry O'Neill as field reporters.
For the season, the Knights had an 8–5 record, 6–2 in Conference USA, and placed second in the Eastern Division. The Knights finished the season with a six-game conference winning streak, after starting conference play 0–2. The season included a 37–32 Homecoming win over the Houston Cougars, who were ranked #12 in the Coaches' Poll, marking the first time in program history that the Knights had defeated a ranked opponent. For the third time in five years, the Knights became bowl eligible and lost to Rutgers in the St. Petersburg Bowl.
On January 5, 2009, UCF hired Charlie Taaffe to be the team's new Offensive Coordinator. The change occurred amid a staff shake-up by Head Coach George O'Leary after a disappointing 2008 season. Tim Salem, whom Taaffe replaced, will transition to being the tight-ends coach and special-teams coordinator, 2008 quarterbacks coach George Godsey will move to be the running-backs coach, and Brent Key will move from being the tight-ends coach and special-teams coordinator to offensive-line coach.
SamfordUCF and Samford last met for a Homecoming game in the 1990s.
Southern MissUCF and Southern Miss last met in Orlando on November 8, 2008. UCF lost the game 17-6.
BuffaloUCF and Buffalo last met in Orlando in 2003.
East CarolinaUCF and East Carolina last met in Orlando on November 2, 2008. East Carolina won the game in overtime 13–10.
MemphisUCF and Memphis last met in Memphis on November 22, 2008. UCF won the game 28–21.
MiamiUCF and Miami met for the first time on October 11, 2008 in Miami. Miami won the game 20–14.
There were 48,453 fans on hand to watch the game, which was the largest crowd to watch a football game at Bright House Networks Stadium.