NCAA Game Summary - UCF at Memphis
(Saturday, October 5)
Final Score: UCF 24, Memphis 17
Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Drico Johnson recovered a fumble on a kickoff return and ran it in 12 yards for a touchdown in the final minutes of regulation to give the UCF Knights a 24-17 victory over the Memphis Tigers, in an American Athletic Conference battle at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
Blake Bortles threw for 160 yards on 17-of-36 passing for the Knights (4-1,1-0 AAC). Breshad Perriman was his top target, grabbing seven catches for 107 yards. Storm Johnson was the team's leading rusher, finishing with 86 yards on 16 carries. The Knights have now won nine-straight over Memphis, marking the longest victory streak over a single opponent in UCF history.
For the Tigers (1-3,0-1), Paxton Lynch finished with 279 yards on 20-of-38 passing with two interceptions and no touchdowns. Brandon Hayes carried the ball 12 times for 73 yards and a touchdown while Sam Craft ran for 28 yards and a score on four carries. Joe Craig caught five balls for 61 yards and Tevin Jones pulled in four catches for 63 yards.
The Tigers struck first, taking their first possession 67 yards in seven plays, finished off with Hayes running it in from 16 yards out for the touchdown. The Knights got on the scoreboard with a field goal late in the opening quarter but that was all the scoring in the half, with Memphis going into the break leading 7-3. A late drive by the Tigers down to the Knight eight-yard line was thwarted when Terrance Plummer picked off Lynch in the end zone with just 28 second left before halftime.
UCF took its first lead of the day on a one-yard touchdown run by William Stanback that capped a 12-play, 91-yard drive, putting the visitors up 10-7 with 5:48 remaining in the third. After starting the drive inside their own ten, the Knights were able to move the ball, with the big play coming on a 32- yard pass from Bortles to Perriman on 2nd-and-8 from their own 11.
The Tigers knotted the score at 10-10 on their next possession with a 48-yard field goal from Jake Elliott. After forcing a three-and-out on the next Knights drive, the Tigers moved the ball 62 yards in eight plays and retook the lead on a Craft touchdown run of 13 yards in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.
After getting the ball back, UCF grinded out a 15-play drive that covered 80 yards and ended with a lucky bounce for the Knights, On first-and-goal from the Memphis one-yard line, Johnson fumbled the ball but it was recovered by left tackle Chris Martin in the end zone, tying the game up at 17-17 with 2:05 remaining in regulation. On the ensuing kickoff, Marquis Warford fumbled the ball at the Memphis 12-yard line and Johnson picked it up and ran it back 12 yards for the game-winning score, giving the Knights a late 24-17 lead.
Memphis made one last push to send the game into overtime, moving the ball 69 yards down to the UCF 6-yard line. On 3rd-and-goal with 35 seconds to play, the Tigers attempted a halfback pass and Hayes' toss was intercepted, again by Plummer in the end zone, to seal the Knights' victory.
Both defensive units stepped up their game for this contest. The UCF defense finished their strong day with five sacks, three interceptions and held Memphis to 5-of-16 on third down conversions. Memphis held UCF to a season low 270 yards of offense.
10/05 21:56:26 ET