Oct. 21, 2006
Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Junior quarterback Kyle Israel (Orlando, Fla./University HS) threw for a career-high 327 yards with three scores and sophomore tailback Kevin Smith (Miami, Fla./Southridge HS) ran for 155 yards, but it was not enough as UCF dropped a 40-29 Conference USA contest to Rice on Saturday evening at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Senior wideout Mike Walker (Orlando, Fla./Edgewater HS) paced the Golden Knights (2-5, 1-2) with 13 catches for 169 yards.
Rice improved to 3-5 and 2-2 with the win.
The Owls led 27-22 with 7:44 to play after Israel found Walker in the corner of the end zone for a 20-yard scoring strike. The Golden Knights missed the two-point conversion and then Rice scored touchdowns on back-to-back possessions to put the game away.
Quinton Smith had both scores for the Owls on the ground, including a 19-yard run up the middle to put the hosts up by 12 points.
Starting for the first time since the 2004 season, Israel completed 27-of-42 pass attempts with one interception. He found sophomore wideout Rocky Ross (Jacksonville, Fla./Bolles) for a three-yard passing touchdown in the game's final seconds. Ross had five catches for 85 yards and two touchdown catches.
UCF racked up 482 total yards of offense. Israel threw to six different wideouts, including four in the first half.
Rice led 6-0 early after a pair of field goals. The Golden Knights countered as junior kicker Michael Torres (Thiells, N.Y./North Rockland HS) hit field goals from 31 and 34 yards out to tie the game.
The Owls led 13-6 with seven minutes to go in the period after Chase Clement connected with Joel Armstrong for a 10-yard scoring toss. UCF again answered as Israel hit Ross down the middle for a 2-yard touchdown pass just prior to halftime to tie the score at 13.
Walker and Ross both set career highs in receptions and yards.
Quinton Smith rushed 21 times for 183 yards in the winning effort. Clement was 16-of-29 for 170 yards. Jarrett Dillard paced Rice with seven catches for 86 yards with one score.
The Golden Knights return to action next Saturday, facing host Houston for a league contest at 3:30 p.m. Eastern. The game will be televised live nationally on CSTV.
UCF's next home game is set for Saturday, Nov. 4 versus East Carolina. Kickoff for the Golden Knights' Homecoming contest is set for 4 p.m.
Call 407-UCF-1000 to purchase tickets. For the latest news and information on the Golden Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF athletics.