Moffett's Big Day Leads UCF Past Memphis

Nov. 11, 2006

Box Score | Quotes | Notes

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -Steven Moffett threw for a 319 yards and two touchdowns and Michael Torres kicked a trio of second-half field goals to lead Central Florida to a 26-24 victory over Memphis on Saturday.

Torres kicked the game-winning 18-yard field goal with just over three minutes remaining as the Golden Knights (3-7, 2-4 Conference USA) snapped a 4-game losing streak.

Memphis (1-9, 0-6) moved down the field after Torres' kick gave the Golden Knights the lead. But the drive stalled at the Central Florida 35 as Memphis failed to convert a fourth-and-7 situation, sending the Tigers to their eight straight loss.

Memphis remains in the East Division cellar and is the only team winless in USA Conference play.

Moffett, a senior who in recent weeks had been relegated to backup behind Kyle Israel, played the entire game and gained confidence after completing his first nine passes, leading to Central Florida's early 14-0 lead. His 319 yards were just short of his career-high of 322 against Akron in 2004.

Rocky Ross and Mike Walker were the top Central Florida receivers on the night, both catching six passes - Ross for 135 yards and Walker for 131.

Prior to his game-winning kick, Torres had booted field goals of 36 and 33 yards in the second half to break a 17-17 tie at the half. Torres' four field goals tied a Central Florida record.

Memphis quarterback Martin Hankins completed 27-of-41 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns.

The teams were tied 17-17 at the break after Matt Reagan's career-long 40 yard field goal for Memphis seven seconds before the break. It marked the first time since the third game of the season at East Carolina that Memphis hasn't trailed at the half.

The first half was an offensive show with both quarterbacks going on long completion streaks to engineer scoring drives. At one point Hankins completed eight straight for Memphis. Moffett started the game connecting on his first nine passes for 165 yards.

That helped Central Florida live up to its standard of scoring fast with two touchdowns on its first two possessions. Both scoring drives were under four minutes. The Golden Knights entered the game with only four of their 19 touchdown drives on the season lasting longer than four minutes.

Both marches culminated in Moffett touchdown passes -- the first from 29 yards to Walker, the other for 3 yards to Shane Smith and an early 14-0 lead for the Golden Knights.

Memphis defenders contributed to Moffett's early success with soft coverage that left Golden Knight receivers wide open. Moffett completed 12-of-17 passes in the half for 218 yards and the two touchdowns.

The Tiger offense, led by Hankins' passing, came back with a pair of touchdown passes. The first was for 24 yards to Duke Calhoun.

Memphis tied the game when Hankins connected on a screen pass to Joseph Doss who took the ball down the sideline for a 28-yard score early in the second quarter.

Both teams would add second-quarter field goals. Prior to Reagan's 40-yard boot in the closing seconds, Torres kicked a 22-yard field goal.

Despite Torres' two field goals in the second half, Memphis took the led with 10:40 remaining when Hankins and Calhoun hooked up for their second score, this one from 28 yards, giving Memphis a 24-23 lead. That set the stage for Torres' winning field goal.