UCF Football Drops First Conference Road Game at ECU

GREENVILLE, N.C. – The UCF football team was outdone in its first American Athletic Conference road game of the season at East Carolina 34-13 Saturday evening at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The Knights couldn't overcome four turnovers and suffered their second loss of the season.

"Give East Carolina the credit, they got after us and beat us in all three phases of the game," said UCF head coach Gus Malzahn. "What stood out to me was that they controlled the tempo and time of possession, we couldn't get off the field."

UCF (5-2, 2-1 AAC) moved the ball well in the first half, but saw its first two drives end with a turnover. It was the first time the Knights turned the football over since the Georgia Tech game.

After the UCF pressure forced a missed field goal on East Carolina's (5-3, 3-2) first drive of the game, the Pirates got on the board with a 28-yard field goal with two minutes remaining in the opening period.

The Knights had a nine-play, 59-yard drive end on a fumble early in the second quarter and East Carolina turned the miscue into a touchdown to grab a 10-0 lead.

Freshman kicker Colton Boomer ignited the scoring for UCF in the game, as he connected on a 27-yard field goal as time expired in the first half. The kick capped a five-play, 70-yard drive for the Knights in 44 seconds to end the shutout prior to the intermission.

For just the second time this season, UCF trailed at halftime, but the Knights marched down the field on their opening drive of the third quarter. Isaiah Bowser found the endzone for the 10th time this season, scoring from three yards out to trim the Knights deficit to 17-10.

ECU countered with a touchdown and a field goal to pull ahead 27-10 and take control of the game. Boomer connected on his second field goal attempt of the game from 36 yards to make it 27-13, but UCF couldn't get any closer.

Linebacker Jason Johnson led the UCF defense with 15 tackles, while Tre'mon Morris-Brash added six tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack.

"Disappointing loss, but we've gotta find a way to put it behind us," Malzahn added.

UCF will return to action at home next weekend when the Knights welcome No. 21 Cincinnati to FBC Mortgage Stadium for its homecoming game. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. on ESPN.