MEMPHIS — Latavius Murray rushed for 192 yards and two touchdowns, and Blake Bortles threw for two more scores as UCF pulled away from mistake-prone Memphis 35-17 Saturday night.
The Knights (5-2, 3-0 Conference USA) forced three Memphis turnovers, including a fumble on the UCF 1-yard line in the first quarter. The Knights also held the Tigers to 4-for-16 on third-down conversion chances.
"I think (turnovers were) the difference in the game," UCF coach George O'Leary said, according to the team's website. "Defensively, we made some plays. We got some quick three-and-outs that kept us in good field position."
Murray, starting for the first time since the season opener, had 149 yards and two scores on nine carries in the first quarter. He followed a 1-yard run with an 83-yard score that was the second-longest run from scrimmage in school history. His final output on 23 carries was the 12th-best single-game rushing total in school history.
Memphis scored early in the second quarter when Tyler Spurlock hit a 34-yard field goal, and the Tigers narrowed the gap to 14-10 when Robert Steeples returned a UCF fumble 27 yards for a touchdown.
But in the third quarter, the Knights' J.J. Worton created breathing room. He caught a pass from Bortles over the middle and raced away from the defense to put UCF up 21-10 with a 29-yard TD. The play capped a 61-yard drive set up by a Bouye interception.
Bouye did more damage against the Tigers early in the fourth quarter. Memphis hit a pass inside the UCF 25-yard line, but Clayton Geathers stripped the ball from Keiwone Malone. Bouye picked up the loose ball at the 21-yard line and raced 79 yards for a 28-10 Knights lead.
Bortles later hit tight end Justin Tukes for a 6-yard touchdown with 4:18 left.
Bortles finished 15-for-26 for 122 yards and the two scores. Worton led UCF receivers with five catches for 56 yards and a score.
Geathers matched his career high with 13 total tackles. Kemal Ishmael added 10 stops for UCF.
The Tigers rushed for a season-high 240 yards behind a career-best 88 yards by Jan Steib.
The Knights return to the field Saturday night at Marshall.