UCF Stops Houston 31-29 to Remain in C-USA Title Hunt


Nov. 5, 2005

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ORLANDO - UCF totaled 495 yards of offense - and stopped a Houston drive with the game on the line - to earn a 31-29 Conference USA victory over the Cougars on Saturday evening at the Florida Citrus Bowl. With the victory, the Golden Knights (6-3, 5-1 C-USA) are now bowl eligible.

UCF led 24-10 with 8:40 to go in the third quarter, but the Cougars (4-4, 2-3) rallied, scoring three touchdowns in the game's final 18 minutes. Houston had the ball on its own 45 yard line with 1:29 remaining in the contest, but Kevin Kolb was sacked by senior Paul Carrington and then threw three incomplete passes.

"I am happy for the football team," said UCF head coach George O'Leary. "I am real proud of how they played; going out on the last play and getting the big sack that sort of put the game away. It was a good win and they reached their goal (of becoming bowl eligible)."

Junior Steven Moffett completed 21-of-30 passes for 275 yards with a pair of touchdowns - a five-yard scoring toss to senior Brandon Marshall at the end of the first quarter and a two-yard strike to junior Mike Walker with 2:16 remaining in the second quarter.

On the Golden Knights' next possession, senior John Brown nailed a 38-yard field goal and the hosts led, 17-3, at halftime.

Marshall finished with seven receptions for 120 yards. Fellow senior Darcy Johnson had six catches for 91 yards.

UCF seemed to have the game in control when Moffett scrambled for a 13-yard touchdown run with 8:40 to play in the second quarter to put the Golden Knights ahead, 24-14.

Just over six minutes later, Kolb began the Cougar rally, hitting Anthony Aldrige for a 54-yard scoring strike.

Kolb completed 19-of-30 passes for 313 yards with the two scores. Donnie Avery had three catches for 111 yards, highlighted by a 76-yard touchdown catch with 6:12 remaining in the game.

On the ground, UCF totaled 220 yards. Freshman Kevin Smith had 28 carries for 99 yards and bulldozed his way in the end zone for a two-yard score in the fourth quarter.

Freshman Corey Hogue led the Golden Knight defense with eight total tackles. In the second quarter, he recorded his first career interception after a Kolb pass was deflected off of two players. Carrington totaled two sacks for a loss of eight yards.

UCF is now bowl eligible for the fifth time in school history.

The Golden Knights return to the field next Saturday, visiting UAB. Kickoff in Birmingham, Ala. is slated for 4 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on CSTV.