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NCAA Game Summary - Texas-El Paso at U-C-F

(Saturday, November 24th)

Final Score: UCF 36, Texas-El Paso 20

Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Kyle Israel threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns to lead the UCF Golden Knights to a 36-20 win over the UTEP Miners in Conference USA action at Bright House Networks Stadium.

Israel converted 18-of-26 passing for the Knights (9-3, 7-1 CUSA) as the team closed out the regular season with six consecutive victories. Also having a big day for UCF was Kevin Smith who raced for 219 yards and a touchdown on 46 attempts.

The Miners (4-8, 2-6) were paced by Trevor Vittatoe who converted 20-of-37 for 292 yards, one touchdown and a pair of interceptions as the program closed out the campaign with a six-game slide.

Following a scoreless first quarter, Michael Torres knocked through a 47-yard field goal for the Golden Knights to give them a 3-0 advantage. The lead grew to 9-0 following a three-yard TD pass from Israel to Corey Rabazinski and a blocked PAT.

With 1:48 remaining in the half the UCF lead swelled to 16-0 as Israel hit A.J. Guyton with a 39-yard TD pass.

But before the second quarter could draw to a close, UTEP managed to get 10 points on the board with a 19-yard TD pass from Vittatoe to Fred Rouse and a 48-yard field goal by Joe Martinez at the gun.

The defense then showed up for the Miners in the second half as Quintin Demps picked off a pass and returned it the length of the field to give the visitors a slight 17-16 advantage. It was the second time this season that Demps, who leads all active players with 17 career picks, has returned an INT 100 yards.

Field goals of 28 and 34 yards by Torres in the third pushed UCF back out front by five points, 22-17, while Martinez added a 42-yard effort for UTEP early in the fourth to cut the deficit to just two points.

UCF locked up the 16-point win with a four-yard TD pass from Israel to Rocky Ross and a two-yard TD run by Smith late in the fourth. Smith entered the week ranked second in the nation in rushing with 1,945 yards, making him the second player this season to go over the 2,000 yards mark.

"Good win. Nothing was easy out there," said UCF head coach George O'Leary. "I thought we fought through some problems. It was a character game as far as we were ready to go in ourselves and score and we give up a 98-yarder. It gives us the division outright as I told the players, that wasn't our deal. Our deal was (the) conference (championship). We have another week of practice left and we'll go from there. It's a good win. Again, a lot of different people had moments in the game."

11/24 19:15:44 ET

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