(Saturday, November 14th)
Final Score: UCF 37, (13) Houston 32
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Brynn Harvey rushed for 139 yards and three touchdowns, as the University of Central Florida surprised 13th-ranked Houston, 37-32, at Bright House Networks Stadium.
Brett Hodges completed 21-of-25 passes for 241 yards with a touchdown and an interception for UCF (6-4, 4-2 Conference USA), which recovered nicely after getting hammered 35-3 by Texas last weekend. The Knights, who were 0-22 lifetime against Top-25 teams coming in, have won four straight C-USA contests.
Quincy McDuffie added four grabs for 77 yards and a TD, while Jonathan Davis rushed for a score.
"It is definitely a huge game, but it is even bigger because it was a conference game," UCF head coach George O'Leary said. "We had the game plan going in to be able to stop their big, explosive plays, and force them to throw short passes underneath. It was important to be able to control the ball, and create turnovers on their part. I thought we would definitely have a shot if we could just control the clock and move the ball on them."
Case Keenum threw for 377 yards on 33-of-56 completions with three touchdowns and a pick for Houston (8-2, 4-2), who had won five straight games. The Cougars dropped their first game since a 58-41 setback at UTEP on October 3.
Tyron Carrier had nine catches for 149 yards and a pair of scores, while Chaz Rodriguez had a TD grab.
Houston recovered an A.J. Guyton fumble on UCF's first possession and turned it into three points when Matt Hogan nailed a 33-yard field goal. A Keenum-to- Carrier 51-yard scoring hookup on the Cougars' next series made it a 10-0 game.
Nick Cattoi's 35-yard field goal got UCF on the board with just over seven minutes left in the second, but Devin Mays returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards to stretch the Houston lead to 17-3.
Davis got the seven right back on the Knights' next series on a four-yard TD run with 1:18 left in the half, and the Cougars took a 17-10 advantage into the break.
Harvey's one-yard dive on UCF's first drive of the third quarter made it a one-point game, as Cattoi's extra point try was unsuccessful. After the Cougars offense continued to sputter, Harvey ripped off a 41-yard TD gallop to lift the Knights in front 23-17.
Carson Blackmon's interception led to a 21-yard Hogan field goal to get Houston within 23-20 early in the fourth quarter.
On the Knights' ensuing possession, McDuffie pulled in a 24-yard TD pass from Hodges and UCF was up 30-20 with 9:03 left to play. The drive covered 79 yards on 11 plays.
Keenum was picked off by Justin Boddie, who returned it 22 yards to the Houston seven before Harvey banged in for the score on the first play from scrimmage to put UCF ahead by 17 with just under 8 1/2 minutes to play.
Keenum then connected with Carrier for a 31-yard score near the 3 1/2 minute mark, but the extra point was no good and UCF led 37-26.
Rodriguez had a five-yard touchdown catch with 10 seconds remaining, and a failed two-point conversion kept it 37-32. Houston's onside kick was unsuccessful and UCF took a knee to run out the remaining time on the clock.
Houston will host Memphis on November 21, while UCF hosts Tulane...UCF is 2-1 in the all-time series against Houston. The Knights won the first meeting, 31-29, in 2005, while the Cougars returned the favor the next season, 51-31.
11/14 17:26:28 ET