Maybe it was the Canaveral Blue Space Game uniform effect (UCF is now 7-0 in Space Games).
UCF coach Gus Malzahn shook his head after the contest, still in amazement at the buzz and marketing attraction of these events, even displaying the light-blue shoes he had been convinced to wear.
Maybe it was the Knights’ defense deciding it was on its own mission—to keep the nation’s leading rusher, Oklahoma State’s Ollie Gordon II, from having a picnic at UCF’s expense.
They succeeded in a big way. Gordon had no run longer than five yards and he finished with a paltry 25 yards on 12 carries. At halftime the visiting Cowboys had minus-six rushing yards.
On the other side of the ball, maybe it was the UCF offense, determined to prove that its own back, RJ Harvey, was the more worthy. Harvey did his part in spectacular fashion with 206 ground yards, three touchdowns and a 92-yard, third-period dash up the gut that effectively closed the coffin on Oklahoma State.
Maybe it was simply the pent-up frustration from more than a few Saturdays when UCF felt it was the better team, but turnovers, execution errors and an injury to quarterback John Rhys Plumlee all got in the way.
Saturday the Knights proved what they believed and had continued to say—that UCF is more than capable of being a good, if not very good, football team.
Or maybe it was the UCF coaches recognizing they could create matchup problems in the Pokes’ secondary.
Plumlee zipped a 37-yard throw to Xavier Townsend right down the middle on the first play from scrimmage—and by a bit more than four minutes into the second period four UCF receivers had caught a pass for at least 37 yards. UCF now leads the Big 12 in average yards per completion at more than 15.