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(Saturday, September 6th)
Final Score: (17) South Florida 31, UCF 24 (1-OT)
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Matt Grothe threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Taurus Johnson in the only overtime and the 17th-ranked South Florida Bulls held off the UCF Knights, 31-24.
Grothe completed 23-of-40 passes for 346 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions for the Bulls (2-0). Johnson caught six passes for 143 yards. Cedric Hill added four grabs for 62 yards and two scores, and Carlton Mitchell had three for 65. Moise Plancher ran for 50 yards and one score on nine carries.
Michael Greco completed 17-of-32 passes for 150 and two touchdowns for the Knights (1-1), who fell to 0-18 all-time against ranked opponents. Rocky Ross had eight receptions for 90 yards, including one score.
UCF was down 14 points late in the fourth quarter, but Greco threw touchdown passes of 13 yards to Corey Rabazinski and 31 yards to Ross within a span of 66 seconds to tie the game at 24 with 1:40 to go in regulation. The Bulls then embarked on a 12-play drive, advancing the ball to the UCF 25. The contest, though, went to overtime after Delbert Alvarado missed a 42-yard field goal in the closing seconds.
In the extra session, Grothe hooked up with Johnson for the go-ahead score. Two straight runs by UCF's Ronnie Weaver set up a 3rd-and-one from the USF 16. Weaver was then stopped for no gain and after a false start infraction forced the Knights into a 4th-and-five situation, Greco tried to run for the first down, but came up just short of the marker.
South Florida scored on its first possession of the game. A 27-yard run by Plancher on 2nd-and-two moved the ball to the UCF 23. Three plays later, Plancher rumbled 14 yards into the end zone for a 7-0 Bulls lead. The advantage was short-lived as Joe Burnett returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for a score.
The Bulls then put together an epic 12-play, 82-yard drive that ate up nearly six minutes of the clock. Facing 3rd-and-10 from their own 26, Grothe threw a 16-yard pass to Johnson to move the chains. South Florida eventually marched to the UCF 3 before settling for a 20-yard Alvarado field goal.
A 38-yarder from Nick Cattoi tied the game at 10 with 2:49 to go in the first half.
South Florida added to its lead as Grothe threw a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes -- 18 and 27 yards -- to Hill.
South Florida had 25 first downs compared to UCF's 12...The Bulls outgained the Knights 504-226...UCF was whistled for 12 penalties (148 yards)...South Florida was 9-of-19 on third downs, while UCF finished 5-of-16.
09/07 01:20:43 ET