Oct. 4, 2006
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Facing a very raucous crowd at the Joan C. Edwards Stadium Wednesday, the UCF football team successfully put together a late drive in the fourth quarter en route to earning its first Conference USA win of the season (2-3, 1-1), edging Marshall, 23-22. The drive, which included a key fourth-down conversion, set up Michael Torres' game-winning 22-yard field goal with six seconds remaining.
Torres kicked three field goals and none were bigger than his final attempt. On the ground, UCF sophomore Kevin Smith rushed for a season-high 166 yards on 26 carries before leaving the game late in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury. But Marshall's defense allowed a second back to gain over 100 yards as senior Jason Peters ran for 108 yards on just 13 carries.
Following a stalled drive by UCF that led to a turnover on downs on the Marshall one-yard line, the Thundering Herd drove the ball 99 yards for the game's first score. Freshman tight end Cody Slate capped off the Marshall scoring drive with a four-yard touchdown reception thrown by Orlando native Bernie Morris. Junior running back Ahmad Bradshaw had a 59-yard run during the drive. The point-after attempt failed leaving Marshall with a 6-0 advantage.
The Golden Knights answered on their ensuing drive when junior quarterback Kyle Israel scored on a two-yard touchdown run. Israel was seeing his first action since the second half of the Florida contest on Sept. 9. Torres connected on the extra point to give UCF a 7-6 lead.
The teams swapped field goals on their next respective drives. Marshall regained the lead momentarily when placekicker Anthony Binswanger connected on a 46-yarder. Torres then gave the visitors the lead back at 10-9 with a 25-yard field goal.
Torres added a 22-yard field goal late in the second quarter following a Joe Burnett interception to give the Golden Knights a 13-9 lead at the break. Sophomore wide receiver Rocky Ross hauled in a career-long 27-yard reception to set up the score. Burnett's pick was his first of the season and sixth of his career, moving him into a tie for ninth place on the school's career charts.
The Golden Knights opened the scoring in the second half when the senior tandem of Steven Moffett and Mike Walker hooked up on a 28-yard scoring pass to give UCF a 20-9 advantage. Marshall answered and pulled within four points on a 38-yard scoring run by Bradshaw.
Torres missed on an opportunity to extend the Golden Knights' lead to seven when his 31-yard field goal attempt late in the third quarter went wide right. Binswanger connected on a 26-yard field goal after a 17-play drive to cut the UCF lead to just a point at 20-19 with 10:01 remaining in the game.
Marshall's defense came through by limiting UCF to just four plays on its next drive, and after a punt, Binswanger split the uprights yet again with a career-high 50-yarder. Leaving the visitors just 2:52 on the clock, UCF was quickly forced into a fourth-and-four situation from its own 25. After rolling to his right, Moffett scrambled to find Mike Merritt all alone on the left side for a 12-yard pickup and an important first down.
The offense rolled down the field after the conversion. On the 11th play of the drive, Torres sealed it with his final field goal.
Moffett completed his evening by posting 13-for-19 totals in the air for 165 yards. In all, UCF outgained Marshall 488-366 in total yards. It was the highest offensive output of the season for the Golden Knights.