No.15 UCF survives tough test from Temple

Philadelphia, PA ( - Shawn Moffitt made a 23-yard field goal as time expired to help the 15th-ranked UCF Knights sneak past the Temple Owls by a 39-36 margin on Saturday.

It seemed like Temple was about to upset the Knights, who sit alone atop the American Athletic Conference, but J.J. Worton's one-handed touchdown catch with just over a minute left tied the game.

After forcing the Owls to punt, UCF took over at its own 30-yard line with 19 seconds remaining. Rannell Hall caught a 64-yard pass to put the Knights in field goal range. Blake Bortles spiked the ball with two seconds left and Moffitt split the uprights for the come-from-behind victory.

"I told you guys I would try to make it exciting this year and it certainly is exciting at the end of these games," said Temple coach Matt Rhule. "I'd like to come out on the winning end. Obviously, I'm extremely disappointed.

"It's just a shame how that game ended."

Bortles completed 27-of-38 passes for 404 yards and four touchdowns for the Knights (8-1, 5-0 AAC), who have won five in a row. He also carried the ball 11 times for 63 yards.

"It was just another great example of us executing our two-minute drill," Bortles said of his connection to Worton. "That's why we practice it. J.J. Worton came up with a huge catch and we got the ball back with another opportunity and he was the guy. We were just taking advantage of our opportunities. We definitely have to tighten things up for next year."

Worton caught 10 passes for 179 yards and three scores, Hall hauled in nine passes for 159 yards and Storm Johnson carried the ball 14 times for 122 yards.

P.J. Walker connected on 26-of-44 passes for 382 yards, four touchdowns and an interception for the Owls (1-9, 0-6), who have lost three in a row. He also carried the ball nine times for 41 yards and a score.

Robbie Anderson caught eight passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns in defeat.

Worton caught a 38-yard TD pass from Bortles with 6 1/2 minutes left in the fourth quarter to give UCF a 29-28 lead.

Walker was then picked off by Brandon Alexander. The Knights, though, failed to do anything with the turnover.

Temple started from its own 20 with 4:51 to play. Kenneth Harper broke off two big runs to move the ball inside the red zone. Chris Parthemore's 7-yard TD catch and a successful two-point conversion made it a 36-29 contest with 2:04 left.

Hall caught three straight passes before Worton's amazing 30-yard TD catch tied the game.

A safety and Moffitt's 20-yard field goal gave the Knights a 5-0 lead after one quarter.

The teams combined for 38 points in a back-and-forth second period. Jamie Gilmore, Walker and Anderson scored touchdowns for Temple. On the other hand, William Stanback and Worton recorded scores for UCF. Moffitt's 35-yarder at the end of the half made it 22-21 Knights.

Anderson's 75-yard TD catch was the only scoring in the third frame.

Game Notes

Temple and UCF combined for 75 points, 1,175 total yards and 50 first downs in the programs' first-ever meeting ... UCF wide receiver Breshad Perriman did not play Saturday due to a head injury.