Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

UCF Knights lose Conference USA title, head to Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl

Latavius Murray, getting wrapped up by Marco Nelson, becomes the first UCF player to rush for touchdowns in eight straight games in a season.

Getty Images

Latavius Murray, getting wrapped up by Marco Nelson, becomes the first UCF player to rush for touchdowns in eight straight games in a season.

TULSA, Okla. — UCF will head to the Big East next season without another Conference USA championship.

Alex Singleton ran for 100 yards and plunged over the top for a 1-yard score in overtime to lift Tulsa to a 33-27 victory over the Knights on Saturday for its first C-USA title and Liberty Bowl bid since 2005.

UCF (9-4) will play in the Dec. 21 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl in St. Petersburg, against an opponent still to be determined.

"We're both the best in the conference and it showed," UCF offensive lineman Jordan Rae said. "They made a couple more plays than we did. You have to give them credit."

After Cory Dorris blocked Shawn Moffitt's 38-yard field goal on UCF's possession to start overtime, Tulsa (10-3) won it with five straight runs.

"We didn't make plays when we needed to, both on offense and defense. It came down to one more stop or us putting the ball in the end zone one more time," said running back Latavius Murray, who became the first UCF player to rush for touchdowns in eight straight games in a single season. That is tied for the second-best active streak in Division I-A, behind Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein.

Tulsa's Trey Watts was named MVP after rushing for 134 yards and making the play of the game, surprising UCF by picking up a punt that appeared to be rolling dead and returning it 54 yards for a touchdown to tie it at 27 with 5:06 remaining. Watt is the son of former Oklahoma quarterback and congressman J.C. Watts.

Knights coach George O'Leary said players told him they thought they heard a whistle to stop the play, but said that was no excuse.

Blake Bortles threw for 194 yards and a pair of 8-yard touchdown passes to Breshad Perriman and Quincy McDuffie for UCF. He also ran for 60 yards and another score.

"It's very disappointing, to come that far, have it down in overtime, miss the field goal and have them score a touchdown," Murray said. "We just have to do what we have to do and make sure we win the bowl game."

In overtime, Tulsa limited Murray to short gains and forced an incompletion, leading to the blocked field goal.

It was the third time the teams have met in the C-USA title game since 2005. Tulsa won it in 2005, with the Knights taking the crown in 2007. The Golden Hurricane took the rubber match by winning the second meeting between the teams at H.A. Chapman Stadium in three weeks.

"It's tough. We gave it our best and we came up short," Rae said. "They beat us on one extra play."

UCF Knights lose Conference USA title, head to Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl 12/01/12 [Last modified: Saturday, December 1, 2012 10:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning: Jon Cooper takes unusual tact to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and ... whom else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  2. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170
  3. Florida, FSU try to ignore death threats, angry fans


    GAINESVILLE — Frustration over uncharacteristically down seasons at Florida and Florida State has started to spill over from message boards and start crossing real-world lines.

    Fans watch the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. At the half, Florida was up 10 to 3.
  4. Fennelly: Would you take Jameis Winston over Cam Newton?


    Factoring out futures, it wouldn't be a short list if I picked NFL quarterbacks I'd take right now over Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) calls a play during the first half of Sunday's game. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: What went wrong on defense?


    Greg Auman is back from Buffalo, going back over a difficult finish and tough loss for the Bucs, in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Buffalo Bills tight end Logan Thomas (82) makes a touchdown catch over Bucs defensive back T.J. Ward (43) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]