Saturday, January 20, 2018
Colleges

UCF Knights earn spot in C-USA title game with win over UAB

ORLANDO — UCF earned the rematch it craved.

Quincy McDuffie ran for three touchdowns and Blake Bortles threw for two to lead the Knights to a 49-24 win over Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday and a spot in the Conference USA title game against Tulsa.

UCF (9-3, 7-1), which clinched the East Division title with the win, travels to Oklahoma to play West winner Tulsa on Dec. 1 for the second time in three weeks. Tulsa beat UCF 23-21 on Nov. 17 to clinch homefield advantage in the title game.

Knights coach George O'Leary was happy with the result, if not the effort that earned it. UAB (3-9, 2-6) racked up 599 yards of offense.

"Any time as a defense you give up 600 yards, it's pathetic, in my opinion," he said. "There was poor tackling and poor coverage, and we better improve before we head to Oklahoma.

"Offensively, I thought we did what we had to get done and we had some opportunities we didn't take advantage of. Other than that, it's a win and another division championship."

McDuffie had scoring runs of 9, 8 and 43 yards. Bortles, who completed 17-of-23 for 225 yards, hit J.J. Worton with scoring passes of 18 and 4 yards.

Lyle Dankenbring returned an interception 78 yards for a score as the Knights took advantage of numerous Blazer mistakes to jump out to a 35-10 halftime lead.

Jonathan Perry threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for a score for UAB.

UAB outgained UCF 322-237 in the first half, but three drives inside the Knights' 20-yard line ended with no points.

"We didn't play well enough," UAB coach Garrick McGee said. "It's the only reason you lose, because you don't play well enough to beat a team that's really hungry, that has a vision, has goals and knows exactly what their target is."

This is the third time in the eight years of the CUSA title game that UCF and Tulsa play each other. Each school makes its fourth title game appearance.

Comments
Gary Trent, Duke rally past Miami with 18-0 run

Gary Trent, Duke rally past Miami with 18-0 run

CORAL GABLES — Gary Trent scored a season-high 30 and No. 5 Duke needed less than three minutes to erase a 13-point second-half deficit, scoring 18 consecutive points to overtake No. 25 Miami 83-75 on Monday night. The Blue Devils scored 15 in six po...
Published: 01/15/18

Shrine Game journal: Homecoming for Utah OL Salesi Uhatafe; Quinton Flowers works on snaps

ST. PETERSBURG — Salesi Uhatafe is back in his hometown, and though he moved to Texas when he was still a baby, it’s very much a homecoming as the former Utah offensive lineman plays in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field."I’ll probab...
Published: 01/15/18
Iowa State’s two-way star Joel Lanning practicing at linebacker for East-West Shrine Game

Iowa State’s two-way star Joel Lanning practicing at linebacker for East-West Shrine Game

ST. PETERSBURG — Joel Lanning has the unique distinction of being listed as an "LB/QB" on the West roster for Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field.And while the former Iowa State star spent the entire practice at middle linebacker Mond...
Published: 01/15/18
Keith Jackson, leading college football broadcaster, dies at 89

Keith Jackson, leading college football broadcaster, dies at 89

Keith Jackson, the folksy voice of college football who for decades weaved backwoods wit through Saturday afternoon ABC broadcasts, died Friday night. He was 89.In a 52-year broadcasting career, Mr. Jackson covered a wide variety of sports for radio ...
Published: 01/13/18
No. 24 FSU outlasts Syracuse in double overtime

No. 24 FSU outlasts Syracuse in double overtime

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State squandered a double-digit halftime lead for the second straight game. This time, it was able to overcome that.The 23rd-ranked Seminoles scored the first six in the second overtime to propel them to a 101-90 victory over Sy...
Published: 01/13/18

Florida manhandled in paint by Ole Miss for first SEC loss

OXFORD, Miss. — Florida came into its matchup focused on stopping a talented group of Ole Miss guards.But it was the play of the frontcourt that did in the Gators on Saturday afternoon.Bruce Stevens scored 22, Deandre Burnett added 20 and Mississippi...
Published: 01/13/18
South Carolina gives Will Muschamp new $28 million deal

South Carolina gives Will Muschamp new $28 million deal

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Will Muschamp received a new six-year, $28.2 million contract after a nine-win season that culminated with a victory over Michigan in the Outback Bowl. Muschamp’s contract was approved Friday by the school’s boar...
Published: 01/12/18
Jones: March Madness is weeks away. What’s up with college basketball?

Jones: March Madness is weeks away. What’s up with college basketball?

We’ve been a little busy lately.What with Dirk Koetter staying and Evan Longoria going. We’ve been distracted by UCF and amazed by Alabama. There has been Jon Gruden news and what is shaping up to be a very special season for the Lightning.With all t...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18
Bobby Bowden: Dadgum it, UCF has a gripe

Bobby Bowden: Dadgum it, UCF has a gripe

Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden is 88 and still keeps a busy schedule of speaking engagements. On Wednesday he was in Omaha, Neb. — his fourth city in a week — to receive the Tom Osborne Legacy Award for his contributions to college football ...
Published: 01/11/18
Jones: The secret to Alabama’s success

Jones: The secret to Alabama’s success

Nick Saban is the greatest college football coach of all-time.The current Alabama run — five titles in nine seasons — belongs at the top of any dynasty in the history of the sport. To do what Bama has done in this day and age of parity is remarkableS...
Published: 01/09/18