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Plumlee Out “a few weeks”, McClain to Start for UCF

JRP avoids surgery after Boise injury

NCAA Football: Central Florida at Boise State
John Rhys Plumlee
Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

UCF Knights QB John Rhys Plumlee avoided the worst possible news regarding his injury late in Saturday’s game vs. Boise State, according to head coach Gus Malzahn. Plumlee will be out “a few weeks” but will not need surgery on his right leg.

Plumlee was hurt on the final drive of UCF’s win at Boise State on a play where he got his right leg caught behind him while sliding. He was also hit on the side of the head by a Boise player, but targeting was not called after a review.

The play in question happened at the 2:50 mark of the highlights below. Note also on the ensuing play how Plumlee hobbles badly after handing off to Johnny Richardson:

Malzahn confirmed that Timmy McClain will start at QB in Plumlee’s absence beginning with the Knights’ next game against Villanova on Saturday.

The Knights play Villanova at home, at Kansas State, Baylor at home, and then at Kansas in the next four weeks. They then have a week off before facing Oklahoma in Norman on October 21st.

The McClain File

McClain is a 6-1, 190-pound Seminole High grad and former starter at South Florida. He played in 11 games as a true freshman in 2021 with the Bulls, winning only two of them, but showing promise as the season progressed. He finished with 1,888 yards passing on 55% completions, with 5 TDs and 7 interceptions. He also rushed for 238 yards and 4 TDs.

McClain transferred to UCF from USF in August of 2022 after USF head coach Jeff Scott brought in Baylor transfer Gerry Bohanon in an ill-fated gambit to keep his job. McClain was not eligible to play in 2022, but played on the scout team for the Knights.

Ironically, the last time McClain started at QB was against UCF in the 2021 season finale (a 17-13 UCF win), going 18/29 for 222 yards and scoring once on the ground. As you might recall, he very nearly pulled off the upset in the Bounce House:

Now McClain is back in charge on the same field, this time for his hometown university.

UCF faces FCS Villanova at FBC Mortgage Stadium Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on ESPN+.