Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Friday, October 7, 2022

UCF Knights Open Conference Play with Big Win Against SMU

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:34
Photo Couresy UCF Athletics

After being postponed twice due to the effects of Hurricane Ian, the UCF Knights (4-1; 1-0 AAC) opened their last season in the American Athletic Conference with a big 41-19 win against the SMU Mustangs (2-3; 0-1 AAC) on Wednesday night. The game was nationally televised on ESPN2. The Knights now enjoy a bye week before taking on the Owls of Temple on Thursday, October 13th at 7pm. That game will be nationally televised on ESPN. Below is the AAC’s report on UCF’s big win over SMU:

John Rhys Plumlee threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns, both coming in the second half to Ryan O’Keefe, and UCF scored 31 unanswered points to beat SMU 41-19 on Wednesday night in a game postponed because of tropical weather.

UCF trailed 13-10 at halftime before scoring four touchdowns in the second half.

O’Keefe made a diving catch in the end zone on a 26-yard throw to extend UCF’s lead to 24-13 with 3:07 left in the third quarter. O’Keefe added a 58-yard touchdown early in the fourth on a shuffle-pass jet sweep.

O’Keefe finished with six catches for 117 yards and two scores, and Javon Baker added 138 yards receiving for UCF (4-1, 1-0 American Athletic Conference). Isaiah Bowser had three short touchdown runs.

The UCF defense made three keys plays. Jason Johnson recovered a fumble on SMU’s first possession of the game, Divaad Wilson made an interception to end the first half and Tre’mon Morris-Brash sacked Tanner Mordecai in the end zone for a safety in the fourth quarter.

Mordecai was 28 of 45 for 295 yards with one interception for SMU (2-3, 0-1). Rashee Rice, who entered leading the nation in receiving yards per game at 141.2, had 12 catches for 122 yards.

The game was rescheduled twice due to Hurricane Ian. It was initially scheduled to be played Saturday at UCF’s on-campus stadium before shifting to Sunday.

UCF coach Gus Malzahn guided new SMU coach Rhett Lashlee in high school at Shiloh Christian in Arkansas from 1999-01. Lashlee also served as an offensive coordinator at Auburn under Malzahn.

Check out video highlights of the game below, courtesy of the AAC:

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