HOUSTON - Brandon Alexander forced a game-saving fumble with 24 seconds left, and Justin Holman threw two touchdowns to help UCF beat Houston 17-12 Thursday in the American Athletic opener for both teams.
The defensive back hit Houston quarterback Greg Ward's arm as he dived and stretched for the end-zone pylon at the end of a 19-yard run, jarring the ball loose for a touchback. The official's call was confirmed by video review.
Holman was 6-for-18 for 101 yards and ran for 32 yards on nine carries for the Knights (2-2).
Ward was 10-for-17 for 116 yards for Houston (2-3). John O'Korn also played quarterback, going 12 -for-26 for 98 yards.
UCF took a 17-6 lead in the third quarter on Holman's 52-yard pass to Breshad Perriman and Shawn Moffitt's 42-yard field goal. Houston cut it to 17-12 in the fourth on Kyle Bullard's 51- and 49-yard field goals. UCF led 7-6 at halftime on Holman's 6-yard pass to Jackie Williams in the second quarter. Bullard made field goals of 39 and 42 yards.
Irish cornerback vents
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Cornerback KeiVarae Russell has voiced heightened frustration with the school in a since-deleted Instagram post, saying it was "becoming ridiculous" after it held a disciplinary hearing over his suspension but wouldn't make a quick decision.
He is one of five suspended players awaiting hearings before the school's honesty committee.
"I killed my meeting; I was so prepared and ready and was able to refute damn near every suspicion they had," said the Tuesday Instagram post, copies of which were widely circulated Wednesday on social media. "Described details of assignments thoroughly so they couldn't say I didn't do it," the post said. "AND THEY STILL SAID MY DECISION WONT COME UNTIL ALL 5 OF US (and some other minor hearings) ARE DONE. Decision MIGHT come next week, not even 100% it's tough to understand these people."
He posted a photo of himself from an August preseason practice Wednesday night with another message: "Just think about how mad these people are going to be when they realize they couldn't hold me down. When all my dreams still become fulfilled. When I use them for a degree. When I come back and dominate the NCAA. Just think ..."
Georgia: Freshman cornerback Rico Johnson will give up football because of a neurological condition. Doctors found he risked a permanent spinal cord injury if he continued to play contact sports. Coach Mark Richt says he will remain on scholarship through his graduation.
Kentucky: Freshmen Stanley "Boom" Williams, Dorian Baker, Drew Barker and Tymere Dubose have been charged with disorderly conduct for their involvement with air pistol shots fired near a residence hall on campus Sunday night. The four have an Oct. 28 appearance in Fayette District Court in Lexington. The class B misdemeanor could result in up to 90 days in jail.
Michigan: Athletic director Dave Brandon said he prefers to wait until the end of the season before evaluating his coaches, suggesting Brady Hoke is safe for now despite their communication breakdown after quarterback Shane Morris' head injury last weekend.
Butler: Coach Brandon Miller, 35, is taking a leave of absence for medical reasons. Assistant Chris Holtmann will serve as interim coach.
Tennessee: Forward Dominic Woodson received an NCAA waiver allowing the Memphis transfer to play immediately. ... Former Lady Vols media director Debby Jennings reached a $320,000 settlement in her 2012 lawsuit against the university and athletic director Dave Hart, alleging age and sex discrimination forced her retirement after 35 years at the university.