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(Saturday, September 15th)
Final Score: UCF 33, FIU 20
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - The UCF Knights jumped out to a big lead behind a strong performance from quarterback Blake Bortles and held on to defeat the FIU Panthers, 33-20 at Bright House Networks Stadium.
Bortles threw for 251 yards and two touchdowns on 20-for-30 passing efficiency for the Knights (2-1). He also threw an interception. UCF's rushing attack featured Storm Johnson and Brynn Harvey, who rushed for 78 and 73 yards, respectively.
FIU (1-2) quarterback Jake Medlock had a frustrating afternoon, racking up just 154 yards and a touchdown on 13-for-28 passing. He also lost a fumble and ran for just two yards on seven attempts. Darian Mallary gained 71 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries while also racking up a team-best 49 receiving yards on four catches.
UCF opened the scoring midway through the first quarter when Bortles found Billy Giovanetti for a four-yard touchdown with 7:36 remaining in the first quarter.
The Knights increased their lead when a poor snap went over the head of FIU punter Josh Brisk and out of the end zone. The safety gave UCF a 9-0 lead.
Bortles threw his second touchdown pass of the day at the 8:11 mark of the second quarter. This one was reeled in by Rannell Hall, his third touchdown catch of the season.
Brynn Harvey's touchdown run on the Knights' next drive made it 23-0. After an FIU punt, Harvey carried the football five times on the nine play drive before capping it off with a four yard plunge into the end zone.
FIU scored on their first drive of the second half when Medlock hit Kendrick Rhodes from five yards out. Medlock, who threw for just four yards in the first half, led the eight play, 85-yard scoring drive that included long completions to Ya'Keem Griner and Mallary.
Mallary added two late touchdown runs for the Panthers, but the comeback fell short when FIU allowed UCF to kill most of the fourth quarter clock with a 14 play drive that resulted in a 23-yard Shawn Moffitt field goal.
With the victory, UCF improves to 1-1 all-time against FIU.
09/15 20:49:33 ET