The UCF Knights came came away with a 31-7 victory, but that scores implies the game was much closer. In the first half, Tulsa's defense allowed the Knights to quickly reach the red zone thrice, but only allowed three points, partially thanks to Knights' kicker Rodrigo Quirarte missing two short field goal attempts and a fumble.
While Quirarte missed a 22-yard and a 24-yard field goal, he was able to hit a 27-yarder late in the first half which ignited the UCF offense. On the following possession, the Knights moved down the field, taking advance of Tulsa's terrible defense of the deep ball, accounting for
third three-quarters of the drive's yardage on a single completion to Breshad Perriman.
Tulsa looked as if it might be able to get going about one third of the way through the game after earning just its second first down of the night. But they stalled and punted the ball away, something which would become a common sight this night. Then UCF QB Justin Holman immediately hits Josh Reese for a 77-yard touchdown pass; this game was over.
Once again, TU sputtered on the following drive and was forced to punt again, but returner J.J. Worton continued the UCF plot to allow the Hurricane to hang on a bit longer by fumbling, giving a struggling offense the ball at the UCF eight yard line. On the next play, Dane Evans hits his favorite target, Keevan Lucas, in the back of the end zone in a play which was FoxSports "#The1" for the night.
Somehow, the Tropical Depression was only down 10 at the half. The Knights acted fast in the second half to expand their lead with a touchdown on their first possession, and tacked on another on the last possession of the third quarter. Tulsa, on the other hand, moved the ball 13 yards in those first 14 minutes and finished with 93 yards of offense in the half.
Holman tossed a career-high 291 yards and three touchdown passes. Evans threw three interceptions and only a single touchdown pass among his nine completions (totalling 69 passing yards).
Tulsa was bad. Really bad. They barely broke 200 yards on the night, the fewest since Kansas held them to 141 yards back in Sept. 2004. Central Florida setup Tulsa's only points of the game and only found the end zone four times against a defense which has been falling apart at times this year. The final score was closer than the actual game, and the final score says the Knights dominated.
UCF reaches six wins and is now bowl eligible. They also now sit atop the American with Memphis and Cincinnati. With SMU and USF as two of their remaining games, the Knights seem in good shape to compete for their second conference title in as many years.
Tulsa now is just hoping neither Connecticut nor SMU can win a game or two, else the Hurricane will finish at the bottom of the conference standings for the first time since 2001 when a 1-11 record put them at the bottom of the WAC. Next week the Golden Hurricane will get tossed around by the Houston Cougars and then finish the season when the Pirates invade Tulsa on Black Friday.