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Knight Class Week 12: UCF vs Houston

What did we learn about the Knights on Senior Day in their final regular season game according to The Student of the Game?

After the heartbreaking loss to Texas Tech, the UCF Knights are at 5-6, The final regular season game at FBC Mortgage Stadium hosting the Houston Cougars was the difference in earning their eighth straight bowl eligibility. On Senior Day, the Knights took charge winning 27-13 over a fellow Big 12 newcomer.

Houston Was Not a Problem

While Houston started the scoring in the contest, it was clear that Houston was in for a long day in the trenches. The defense posted four sacks with two from linebacker Jason Johnson who posted another 100-tackle season. Offensively, UCF’s two-headed run threat with running back RJ Harvey and quarterback John Rhys Plumlee kept the Cougars front off balance for most of the contest. And that’s without even mentioning the big play impact from the passing game.

Harvey was electric posting 136 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. Plumlee completed 23 of his 27 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown also rushing for 58 yards on 15 carries.

The Knights also had four receivers with a catch of 20 yards or more. Kobe Hudson had the most yards with 98 on a career-high nine catches.

Making The Grade

Special Teams: D+

They had a pretty rough start. Johnny Richardson dropped to his knee inadvertently to start UCF’s first offensive drive 94 yards from pay dirt. Once the offense went the distance to score the touchdown, kicker Colton Boomer shanked that extra point off the upright. Unfortunately, Boomer’s confidence appeared to be busted. He went on to shank a 42-yarder as well as a 26-yarder going into the half leaving the Knights with only a 13-10 lead.

In fairness, Houston iced Boomer on the second kick late in the first half just before he put it through the uprights, but that kept three points off the board.

Defense: A

While fans may have felt like the Cougars made it look easy while scoring on their first drive. It also took an amazing one-handed catch in the red zone by Houston’s Joseph Manjack on a fourth down for them to do it.

After that, the Knights' defense held them to two field goals, Corey Thorton snagged an interception for a third straight game with a turnover while a huge sack by Malachi Lawrence for a turnover on downs gave the offense a chance to score going into halftime.

By the end of the game, UCF allowed only one touchdown in three red zone opportunities by Houston while holding them to converting one third down in ten tries.

Offense: B+

Considering how much Houston was reeling coming into this game surrounding their program and the status of head coach Dana Holgerson, it’s hard to give the offense an “A”. 6-of-13 on third down while going 2-of-4 in the red zone leaves a lot to be desired. Numbers like these that we’ve seen throughout the season are a big part of why this team is currently 6-6.

While their performance wasn’t the best of the season, it was peppered with plenty of positives. Going 94 yards on the first UCF drive for a touchdown, RJ Harvey posted another 100-yard game while posting 1,200+ for the season as one of if not the best season by a UCF running back.

Pair that with UCF controlling the ball with nearly 35 minutes in time of possession, and it’s definitely a solid performance to give the seniors a send-off.

In the meantime, Knight Nation will be waiting to see if UCF will be playing within their home state for bowl season. Until next time, everyone — class dismissed