Knights leap to conference lead, face Temple

Toughest opponent yet?

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  • | 12:33 p.m. October 22, 2014
Photo by: Isaac Babcock - The Knights have edged three straight teams with some late-game magic that made them 12-1 last season.
Photo by: Isaac Babcock - The Knights have edged three straight teams with some late-game magic that made them 12-1 last season.
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For the third straight game the Knights have a one-touchdown win under their belts, and now they await a Temple team that’s surprised the American Athletic Conference this season. The Knights will be looking to keep their four-game winning streak going after surviving Tulane.

Tulane (2-5, 1-2) scored first, and Tulane scored last, but the Knights (4-2, 2-0) made up the difference in between and held off the Green Wave in a 20-13 defensive struggle on the gridiron on Saturday.

“We are lucky to win a game like that, without really doing anything offensively,” UCF head coach George O’Leary said after the game.

The Knights would need Shawn Moffitt to drill a 47-yard field goal to get onto the scoreboard in the second quarter and tie the game.

Two scores later, the Knights were up 13-3 and looking to run away from the Green Wave and the son of an NFL legend in the process. The Knights’ defense made quick work of Tulane quarterback Nick Montana, picking him off twice and forcing turnovers on downs four separate times.

Both teams would fail at seven combined fourth down conversion attempts. The Knights would convert only five of 17 third down attempts, and held Tulane to four of 14. That would hold both teams back in yardage, with Tulane besting the Knights with 278 total yards to the Knights’ 233.

In wild contrast to the BYU game in the previous week, when UCF quarterback Justin Holman threw 52 pass attempts, three UCF quarterbacks against Tulane would throw the ball just 24 attempts combined. Holman would go nine-for-17 with two interceptions, starting with the Knights’ third offensive play of the game. Backup QB Nick Patti, subbing into the game in the second quarter, would go three-for-six for 26 yards.

Defense would make the biggest impact in the game, with Tulane stalled outside the red zone in all but two drives of the game. The Knights, who made it to the red zone four times, came away with just two field goals and a touchdown. Their only other score in the game would come on a 45-yard play when Holman connected with Breshad Perriman for what would be the winning touchdown.

The fourth quarter wouldn’t see any scores as both teams traded missed fourth down conversions as the clock ran out.

Jacoby Glenn and Brandon Alexander both had interceptions in the game, with Alexander returning his for 21 yards. Miles Pace had four quarterback hurries in the game, flushing Montana out of the pocket. Jordan Ozerities led the team in tackles with nine.

The Temple Owls (4-2, 2-1) present one of the toughest conference challenges for the Knights coming up Saturday. They’re coming off a 31-10 loss to Houston, a team the Knights narrowly edged earlier this season.

The Owls have been consistently productive in passing, averaging about 220 yards per game, but on the ground they’ve struggled. Against tougher run defenses the Owls have managed less than 100 yards per game. Even in a 36-10 blowout of UConn they only ran for 41 yards on 24 attempts.

The game kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Bright House, televised on CBS Sports Network.


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