UCF Football Runs Past Georgia Tech, 27-10

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Headlined by 284 yards rushing, the UCF football team defeated Georgia Tech 27-10 Saturday afternoon at FBC Mortgage Stadium. For the third time this season, the Knights held an opponent to 14 points or less.

"It was a good, hard fought win at home," said UCF head coach Gus Malzahn. "Our crowd was unbelievable, and we really appreciate our crowd. We started out with a 20-play drive, I think it took almost 10 minutes and we only got three points with that. That's really the first time I've seen that. Probably the big play of the game was the blocked punt right before halftime, that gave us some momentum going into halftime.

"Our defense got off the field and came back out. We were able to establish a run better once the second half got going. I think we had 285 yards rushing. There's a lot of things we can correct, which is good. We got a quality win. I'm very proud of our players and our coaches."

UCF scored first in the game following a 20-play, 71-yard opened drive capped by a 21-yard field goal from freshman Colton Boomer. The game's opening drive featured 17 running plays and chewed up 9:47. It was the longest scoring drive by time of possession since Oct. 27, 2012, in a 54-17 UCF win over Marshall.

Georgia Tech countered with a 59-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jeff Sims to wide receiver Malachi Carter in the second quarter, as the Yellow Jackets pulled ahead 7-3. A few minutes later, Boomer connected on his second field goal of the game from 31 yards out, as the Knights regained the lead 10-7.

A big play on special teams helped UCF head into the locker room at halftime with momentum leading 13-7, as redshirt senior Jarvis Ware powered through the Yellow Jackets line to get a hand on the punt attempt from David Shanahan. For the second time this season, Quadric Bullard scooped up the blocked punt and returned it 29 yards for the touchdown. It was the first blocked punt of Ware's career.

For the second consecutive game, the Knights defense was stellar in the second half as Georgia Tech was just 1-for-7 on third down attempts, 0-for-3 on fourth down attempts and 0-for-3 on red zone opportunities.

"Our defense did a good job," Malzahn added. "We did give up some yards, but once we got into the red zone, they came up big time and time again. Our team is growing, I thought it was a quality win."

The teams traded field goals in the third quarter, with Boomer connecting from 37 yards and Georgia Tech's Jude Kelley making a 42-yarder to cut the UCF lead to 16-10 heading into the fourth quarter.

John Rhys Plumlee scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the season with 10:37 remaining in the game, breaking free along the right side for a 28-yard scamper. He finished the game with 100 rushing yards on 16 attempts.

Boomer matched the Knights program record with his fourth field goal of the game to push the UCF lead to 27-10. The Lake Mary, Florida, native is the first player to make four field goals in a single game since Matthew Wright against South Carolina State on Sept. 3, 2016.

Jason Johnson led the UCF defense with eight tackles, while Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste returned to the lineup for the Knights and contributed seven, including 2.0 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a sack.

UCF opens American Athletic Conference play next weekend when the SMU Mustangs head to Orlando. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. and the game will air live on ESPNU.