Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tulsa tops UCF Knights 23-21

Times wires

TULSA, Okla. — Cody Green connected with Keyarris Garrett for three touchdown passes Saturday and Tulsa held on to beat UCF 23-21 in a battle of Conference USA division leaders.

The win sealed the West Division title for Tulsa (9-2, 7-0) and gives the Golden Hurricane the upper hand for homefield advantage for the league championship game Dec. 1.

The Knights can still win the East Division by defeating UAB next weekend in Orlando. A win would get them a rematch with Tulsa in the conference title game.

"The big thing is we have to take care of business next week," UCF coach George O'Leary said. "I think there are a lot of guys that want to come back here and take care of some of the things we didn't get done."

Trey Watts ran for 122 yards for Tulsa, and Green finished with 252 yards passing, going 21-for-34 with an interception that UCF returned for a touchdown.

The scoring passes to Garrett went for 70, 20 and 13 yards, the last one making it 23-14 Golden Hurricane with 5:11 left in the third quarter.

UCF (8-3, 6-1) came within two points on Latavius Murray's 2-yard run with 9:01 to play, but Tulsa ran nearly seven minutes off the clock on its next series, which ended when UCF's Cam Henderson blocked a Tulsa field-goal attempt with 3:50 left.

The Knights didn't get another first down.

Quarterback Blake Bortles was 13-of-31 for 169 yards and a touchdown for UCF but was sacked four times. The Knights' offensive line, and in turn the rest of the offense, struggled all game against Tulsa's smothering defensive pressure.

"I thought the game was all about their defense playing much faster than our offense played," O'Leary said. "That's what caused the pressure on the quarterback and took some of the run game away."

UCF ran 34 times for 66 yards, 60 of them from Murray. Tulsa had 209 yards rushing on 53 carries.

Tulsa went up 10-0 with 3:51 left in the first quarter on Green's 70-yard TD pass to Garrett.

The Knights were struggling in the first half when defensive back A.J. Bouye delivered a crucial play.

Bouye picked off Green and returned the interception 77 yards for a touchdown, pushing the Knights ahead 14-10 with 3:50 left in the second quarter.

"I saw it was a bad throw, and I just went for it," Bouye said. "Instead of running out of bounds, I was trying to score because we needed a momentum shift."

Drake 32, Jacksonville 29: Mike Piatkowski threw two touchdown passes and Drake (8-3, 7-1) locked up a share of the Pioneer League title. Jacksonville (7-4, 5-3) overcame a 17-5 halftime deficit in the third quarter on Andre Addison's 50-yard interception return for a touchdown and a 32-yard TD pass from Trevius Folston to D'Andre Randle.

Tulsa tops UCF Knights 23-21 11/17/12 [Last modified: Saturday, November 17, 2012 9:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Nature Coast puts unbeaten streak on the line vs. IMG White

    Footballpreps

    BROOKSVILLE — Nature Coast currently rides a 22-game regular-season win streak, but first-year football coach Cory Johns was not around for any of those wins. Neither was most of his coaching staff. This is an entirely new campaign with new obstacles ahead.

    Nature Coast offensive lineman Louis Miele (66) blocks a Sunlake defensive player during the Clash 4 Clayton football scrimmage and fundraiser at Springstead High School Spring Hill, Fla. on Saturday, August 12, 2017.
  2. Crosstown rivals Bloomingdale-Newsome kick off season

    Footballpreps

    LITHIA — In a week filled with area football rivalries, there is a game on the east side of Hillsborough County — Bloomingdale vs. Newsome — that has matured into a classic crosstown battle, complete with classic cliches.

    Bloomingdale wide receiver Ed Amos charges through a drill a few days before the big rivalry game against Newsome on Friday night.
  3. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Several key players still sidelined

    Bucs

    Greg Auman gives an injury update, with several key players still sidelined from practice three days before the Bucs play the Cleveland Browns in Tampa, and a full recap of your favorite scenes from Tuesday …

    Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans was held out of practice Wednesday at One Buc Place. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  4. Playoff ambitions evident in opener for Zephyrhills, Wiregrass Ranch

    Footballpreps

    WESLEY CHAPEL — A new football season in Pasco County begins Friday night, but this one promises to be like none before it — with more math than ever. A new playoff system emphasizes schedule strength, making non-district tilts particularly important.

    Wiregrass Ranch wide receiver Jordan Miner catches a pass in spring practice at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel on Monday, May 1, 2017.
  5. Dirk Koetter says Bucs used team meeting to discuss social issues

    Bucs

    During a 20-minute team meeting Tuesday, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter decided to turn the discussion to social issues and whether players are expected to stand for the national anthem.

    "The main thing is we have to respect everybody's opinion," Dirk Koetter said, "because everybody is not going to agree." [AP photo]