UCF Falls to Tulsa


Oct. 27, 2008

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) - David Johnson threw for 264 yards and a touchdown, ran for two more scores and No. 19 Tulsa overpowered UCF 49-19 Sunday night in the Golden Hurricane's first game in the Top 25 in 17 years.

Damaris Johnson made up for a critical first-half fumble by returning the second-half kickoff 70 yards to set up a go-ahead touchdown. David Johnson zoomed in from 10 yards out to give Tulsa (8-0, 5-0 Conference USA) a 21-19 lead, and he kept the nation's top-ranked offense in gear from there on out.

UCF held Tulsa to a season-low 436 yards, nearly 200 below their 625-yard average, but had only 187 yards of its own.

Courtney Tennial scored on a 1-yard dive to complete a drive that was extended by Trae Johnson's leaping 29-yard catch on fourth-and-13 and again when David Johnson fumbled and then got the ball back after defensive back Johnell Neal coughed it right back up.

The country's top-rated quarterback added a 2-yard touchdown run and a 15-yard TD toss to a diving Trae Johnson as the Golden Hurricane kept pulling away.

For a brief time in the second quarter, it appeared Tulsa might give the game away as the Knights put up 19 straight points without having to rely much on the nation's worst offense.

Daren Daly hit a 54-yard field goal after Michael Such's punt got held up in the wind and went only 14 yards, and it only got worse from there. Damaris Johnson fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and receiver Brian Watters recovered and then caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Rob Calabrese three plays later for a 17-14 UCF lead.

A penalty on the kickoff pushed the Golden Hurricane back for the start of their next drive, and David Johnson had to track down a bad snap on second down and knock it out of the end zone for a safety that made it 19-14 at halftime.

Watters had seven catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns for UCF, and freshman Brynn Harvey ran 24 times for 91 yards in his first career start.

"I told them on that on the ride home, think about what they did the second half and how much better we could have got things done," UCF coach George O'Leary said.