One of the questions some fans who were waiting in the tunnel to go on the field to celebrate the UCF Knights’ win over Oklahoma State was: Where does this game rank all-time? It is a question that was brought up during our KnightShift Postgame show, recapping the win from the field.
It remains to be seen how much this game will grow in legacy all-time, as we do not know if this is a top signaficant win for the program. Was it a turning point game or just a footnote for the program?
What we do know is that it was a fun and memorable day at the Bounce House. So I decided to compare this game to other memorable games on campus and revisit our rankings for the greatest games in the Bounce House:
Honorable Mention: UCF 16, Marshall 6 (Oct. 8, 2011)
Brynn Harvey rushed 30 times for 180 yards and QB Jeff Godfrey threw his first TD pass of the season as the Knights held on to beat Marshall, 16-6, in a tropical downpour that started the night before and continued all day Saturday, resulting in some amazing photos:
According to weather records, at least seven inches of rain fell the day of the game, making it the wettest October day in Orlando since 1950. The Knights’ win gave George O’Leary his 100th career victory.
#12 — UCF 31, BYU 24 (OT) (Oct. 9, 2014)
UCF came back from a 24-10 deficit to beat BYU in overtime in front of an ESPN audience. I’ll never forget walking back to the parking lot after the game and running into an exhausted Terrance Plummer, who was just laying down on the ground after playing one of best games any Knight linebacker has ever played. Plummer set a career-high with 17 tackles, plus a sack, 4.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.
#11 — UCF 30, Boston College 3 (Sept. 10, 2011)
September 10, 2011 marked a very special and emotional day both on and off the field. Most of the sellout crowd was honoring Welles Crowther and all of the innocent victims of 9/11 by wearing red bandanas. The Knights also hosted Boston College, which was led by future NFL star linebacker Luke Kuechly.
The game would be all Knights. Boston College would go on to a 4-8 season in 2011, and the Knights ended struggling as well, going 5-7. That’s why this game is not ranked higher.
#10 — UCF 25, Cincinnati 21 (Oct. 29, 2022)
This was a dramatic game that went back and forth, with RJ Harvey scoring on a 17-yard run with 48 seconds remaining to hand UCF a 25-21 win over #20 Cincinnati.
UCF quarterback Mikey Keene came in relief for John Rhys Plumlee, who was knocked out of the game late in the first half, and led the Knights’ critical game-winning drive in the final moments.
#9 — UCF 37, Houston 32 (Nov. 14, 2009)
UCF got its first win over a top-25 team on Homecoming in 2009, beating Kevin Sumlin’s 12th-ranked Houston Cougars, who were then led by star quarterback Case Keenum.
#8 — UCF 19, Houston 14 (Nov. 9, 2013)
How big was this game? Check out ESPN’s College GameDay preview:
This game turned out to be a defensive struggle and came down to the most memorable goal-line stand in program history, “keeping the dream alive,” as Marc Daniels said on his radio call of the final play as the Knights’ chances for a BCS bowl berth survived.
#7 — UCF 23, USF 20 (Nov. 29, 2013)
On Black Friday, it was USF looking to spoil UCF’s dream of a BCS berth and an AAC title in the first War on I-4 conference game.
I was on the sideline in the fourth quarter, standing next to UCFSports.com’s Brandon Helwig and UCF radio sideline reporter Jerry O’Neill, and the Knights played as ugly as they looked (Seriously, what were they thinking with that jersey-helmet combo?).
UCF was down 20-16 with five minutes to go in the game. I still remember the play like it was yesterday: Blake Bortles pumps and goes deep to Breshad Perriman for a 52-yard touchdown to give UCF the lead. It all happened right in front of me. The Knights’ defense would close it out with an interception and wrapped up the AAC regular season title.
#6 — UCF 45, Oklahoma State 3 (Nov. 11, 2023)
Highlights: UCF 45, No. 15 OSU 3 pic.twitter.com/9ZfzXqN5ZX— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) November 12, 2023
From the opening kickoff, UCF was dominant en route to a memorable 45-3 win against 15th-ranked Oklahoma State. It was the Knights’ first top-15 home win since 2009 against No. 12 Houston.
It was also UCF’s first-ever home win in the Big 12, and the first time an under-.500 team beat an AP top-15 team by 40 or more points since 1997.
Bedlam in the Bounce House pic.twitter.com/Ee7U6mln2k— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) November 12, 2023
R.J. Harvey rushed for 206 yards and three touchdowns, vastly outperforming Oklahoma State’s Ollie Gordon, who came in leading the nation in rushing. It was also UCF Head Coach Gus Malzahn’s 100th career win.
#5 - UCF 38, Cincinnati 13 (Nov. 17, 2018)
It was the most memorable day on UCF’s campus as ESPN’s College GameDay was on Memory Mall for the Cincinnati-UCF game.
Oh, by the way, it was a top-20 match-up between the Bearcats and the Knights on ABC in primetime. UCF put on a show for the national audience with Chris Fowler & Kirk Herbstreit calling the game at The Bounce House.
#4 - 2007 C-USA Championship: UCF 44, Tulsa 25 (Dec. 1, 2007)
A magical first year at a new stadium on campus ended with UCF hosting the C-USA Championship Game against Tulsa.
Two years earlier, UCF hosted Tulsa in the C-USA Championship at the Citrus Bowl, but the Knights lost that game and the chance for the program’s first-ever conference championship.
This time, however, the game was on campus, and Kevin Smith made sure history would not repeat itself. 24K destroyed Tulsa’s defense and put on one of greatest single-game performances any Knight has ever had on the gridiron with 284 yards and four TDs.
The Knights would win the program’s first-ever conference championship and the celebration was on.
#3 - 2018 AAC Championship: UCF 56, Memphis 41 (Dec. 1, 2018)
One week after McKenzie Milton’s devastating injury at South Florida, the Knights had to rally around Darriel Mack Jr. to beat a Memphis team that was still angry after their 1-point loss to UCF at home earlier in the season. And did they show it in the first half.
But the Knights came back from 17 points down to win back-to-back American Athletic Conference Championships and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl.
#2 - 2017 AAC Championship Game - UCF 62, Memphis 55 (2OT) (Dec. 2, 2017)
With a trip to the Peach Bowl and a conference title on the line, Scott Frost’s last game at the Bounce House as UCF Head Coach turned into the highest-scoring Conference Championship game ever.
#1 - UCF 49, USF 42 (Nov. 24, 2017)
It was the most hyped and biggest War on I-4 Game in rivalry history as the Knights and Bulls were playing in the biggest game in rivalry’s history.
Special edition of @UCF_Banneret episode as I talk with @adamamin about calling the #WarOnI4 classic in 2017 between South Florida & @UCF_Football with @DustyDvoracek & @MollyAMcGrath. #UCF. Amin also discusses broadcasting career and more. https://t.co/AiWpDO4rmi— Eric Lopez (@EricLopezELO) April 27, 2020
The winner would advance to AAC Championship Game - something the Bulls have never accomplished - while the Knights came in looking to go 11-0 in front of a sold-out crowd and massive national TV audience on ABC.
The game lived up to the hype and then some: