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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Central Florida 27, Houston 13

By PHILIP ROSSMAN-REICH
Associated Press

ORLANDO, FL - R.J. Harvey rushed for 136 yards and his two second-half touchdowns powered UCF to its eighth straight season of bowl eligibility as the Knights wrapped up their first season in the Big 12 with a 27-13 win over Houston.

The Knights and Cougars exchanged scoring drives throughout the first half. UCF took control in the second half with a three-play 81-yard drive to open the third quarter. That drive started with a 57-yard pass from John Rhys Plumlee to Javon Baker.

Plumlee had a big game for the Knights, completing 23 of 27 for 253 yards and rushing for 58 more. He threw for one touchdown and ran for another.

Houston quarterback Donovan Smith tallied 161 pass yards and 24 rush yards.

Smith led Houston on an eight-play, 75-yard drive on the opening possession of the game, throwing a forward pitch to Stephon Johnson for a 16-yard touchdown.

The Cougars though struggled to get back on the board, failing to find the end zone the rest of the game and driving into UCF territory just once in the second half.

UCF outgained Houston 476-260 for the game and 204-74 in the second half.

Trailing by 17, Houston had a chance to score after forcing a turnover on downs near midfield. The Cougars drove near the goal line, but two five-yard penalties and a sack from Jason Johnson pinned Houston back to the 20 and forced a field goal.

SENIOR DAY

UCF honored its seniors in a ceremony before the game. Honorees on the field included linebacker Jason Johnson, defensive lineman Tre'Mon Morris-Brash, wide receiver Kobe Hudson, quarterback John Rhys Plumlee, offensive lineman Lokahi Pauole, defensive Josh Celiscar and running back R.J. Harvey.

Harvey scored his 16th rushing touchdown of the season, which is tied for second in UCF history for most rushing touchdowns in a season. His 1,291 rushing yards for the season ranks fourth in school history.

Hudson tied his career-high in receptions in the first quarter and finished with a career-high nine catches for 98 yards in the game.

The Knights went 40-22 in the past five years with Plumlee going 13-9 as the starting quarterback the past two years after transferring from Ole Miss.

BOOM AND BUST

UCF kicker Colton Boomer has been a model of consistency all season making 12 of 17 field goals, including kicks of 50- and 55-yards in the win over Boise State. Before missing an extra point at the end of last week's game against Texas Tech, Boomer made 84 straight PATs (the third-longest streak at UCF).

But Boomer missed a field goal late against Texas Tech and had a PAT blocked last week. Those struggles continued as he missed a PAT off the upright, pushed a 42-yard field goal wide right and had a 27-yard field goal blocked to end the first half.

November 25, 2023


Scoring Summary
First Quarter HouUCF
Hou TD 10:34 Stephon Johnson 16 yd pass from Donovan Smith (Jack Martin kick) 7 0
UCF TD 5:31 John Rhys Plumlee 8 yd run (missed kick) 7 6
Hou FG 1:56 Jack Martin 32 yd FG 10 6
Second Quarter HouUCF
UCF TD 10:58 Xavier Townsend 28 yd pass from John Rhys Plumlee (Colton Boomer kick) 10 13
Third Quarter HouUCF
UCF TD 14:07 RJ Harvey 21 yd run (Colton Boomer kick) 10 20
UCF TD 9:04 RJ Harvey 2 yd run (Colton Boomer kick) 10 27
Fourth Quarter HouUCF
Hou FG 10:08 Jack Martin 34 yd FG 13 27
Team Stats
  Houston UCF
First downs 17 23
  Rushing 7 12
  Passing 8 10
  Penalty 2 1
3rd Down Efficiency 1-10, 10% 6-13, 46%
4th down efficiency 3-5, 60% 2-3, 67%
Rushes-Yards 31-94 43-223
Passing Yards 165 253
Return Yards 0 17
Completions-Attempts-Int 13-21-1 23-27-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 4--32 3--14
Punts 2 1
Punts-Average 30 33
Fumbles Lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties - Yards 4-20 4-34
Time of Possession 25:04 34:56
Houston Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
D. Smith 12 20 161 1 1
U. Ale 1 1 4 0 0
UCF Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
J. Plumlee 23 27 253 1 0
Houston Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
S. Sneed 3 33 11.0 0
D. Smith 14 24 1.7 0
T. Mathis Jr. 6 20 3.3 0
S. Johnson 1 13 13.0 0
P. Jenkins 5 8 1.6 0
U. Ale 2 -4 -2.0 0
UCF Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
R. Harvey 21 136 6.5 2
J. Plumlee 15 58 3.9 1
J. Richardson 3 15 5.0 0
M. Richards 2 13 6.5 0
X. Townsend 2 1 0.5 0
Houston Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Manjack IV 4 74 18.5 0
S. Johnson 6 69 11.5 1
J. Cobbs 1 12 12.0 0
P. Jenkins 2 10 5.0 0
M. Robinson 0 4 0.0
0
UCF Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
K. Hudson 9 98 10.9 0
J. Baker 2 59 29.5 0
A. Holler 5 44 8.8 0
X. Townsend 5 42 8.4 1
R. Pittman Jr. 1 6 6.0 0
M. Richards 1 4 4.0 0
Houston Interceptions
Player Int Yards
UCF Interceptions
Player Int Yards
C. Thornton 1 0
Houston Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
L. Wilkins 2 60 30.0
UCF Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
M. McCarthy 1 33 33.0
Houston Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
UCF Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
X. Townsend 1 17 17.0
Houston Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
UCF Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
J. Richardson 1 0 0
Houston Missed FG
Player Length
UCF Missed FG
Player Length
C. Boomer 42
C. Boomer 26




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