Bortles, UCF roll over Rutgers
Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Blake Bortles passed for 335 yards and a touchdown and No. 17 UCF pulled away for a 41-17 win over Rutgers on Thursday night.
Bortles was 21-of-30 passing and also rushed for a score for the Knights (9-1, 6-0 American Athletic Conference), who have won six straight since losing their last non-conference game to South Carolina on Sept. 28.
"I thought Blake (Bortles) was pretty much on the whole game," UCF coach George O'Leary said. "They put a lot of pressure on him, but he was exceptional as far as taking plays that weren't there and making something good out of them."
Storm Johnson rushed for 75 yards and two touchdowns and J.J. Worton had five receptions for 117 yards five days after his one-handed catch helped UCF avoid an upset Saturday against Temple.
Rutgers (5-5, 2-4) has lost four of five.
The Scarlet Knights -- in the news last week for an off-field scandal in which former cornerback Jevon Tyree and his parents accused defensive coordinator Dave Cohen of bullying -- scored just three points in the second half.
Gary Nova completed just 11 of his 34 passes for 107 yards in the loss and Paul James had a 1-yard touchdown run.
Rutgers trailed 21-0 early in the second quarter but had pulled within 28-14 at halftime after Anthony Cioffi blocked Caleb Houston's punt and Andre Patton recovered it in the end zone with 15 seconds left.
"There was a lot of positive energy in the locker room," Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood said of his team at halftime. "We had a lot of momentum."
The momentum didn't carry over into the second half.
Shawn Moffitt kicked a 32-yard field goal on UCF's first possession of the third quarter and William Stanback powered through a would-be tackler on a 1- yard touchdown run on the second play of the fourth quarter to make it 38-14.
Moffitt added a 42-yarder after Rutgers turned the ball over on downs and Kyle Federico kicked a 35-yard field goal for the Scarlet Knights.
Earlier, Bortles' 29-yard pass to Jeff Godfrey help set up Breshad Perriman's 4-yard touchdown catch on the game's opening drive.
Clayton Geathers intercepted Nova on the ensuing Rutgers possession and Johnson broke a couple tackles on a 12-yard touchdown run to give UCF a 14-0 lead with less than four minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Johnson's 1-yard run capped an 86-yard drive six minutes into the second quarter, making it 21-0.
Rutgers faked a punt, with fullback Michael Burton rushing 38 yards to help set up James' 1-yard touchdown run on fourth down after Nova threw two incompletions.
Bortles scrambled left and made it inside the pylon for a 7-yard score at the other end to restore UCF's 21-point lead.
The Knights beat Temple on Saturday by scoring 10 points in the last 1:06 of the game, winning on Moffitt's 23-yard field goal as time expired. They play at Connecticut on Nov. 30.
11/22 02:15:12 ET