Tulsa rallies to upset No. 11 UCF, 34-26
Senior Zach Smith overcame a slow start to rally unranked Tulsa past No. 11 UCF 34-26 in an American Athletic Conference matchup on a rainy Saturday night in Orlando, Fla.
Smith completed only one pass for nine yards in the first quarter but finished 17 of 29 passing for 273 yards and three touchdowns.
Dillon Gabriel completed 28 of 51 passes for 330 yards and one score and drove the Knights (2-1, 1-1 AAC) to Tulsa’s 33-yard line before running out of time.
The win for the Golden Hurricane (1-1, 1-0) was their fourth in a row in the series and snapped UCF’s home winning streak at 21 games.
The two teams combined for 26 penalties — with 10 of UCF’s 18 for false starts — and six turnovers, and UCF missed a short field goal and Tulsa an extra point try in the sometimes sloppy game.
Each team gave up a safety and they combined for five turnovers in the first quarter alone, three of them on consecutive plays.
The Knights had 247 yards total offense in the first half with 49 coming on Otis Anderson’s touchdown burst that gave the Knights an early 16-0 lead.
The Hurricane managed only 169 yards in the first two quarters with 48 on Smith’s touchdown pass to Josh Johnson with just 53 seconds left in the second period. That score closed their deficit to 23-12 at the break.
The Hurricane opened the third quarter with Smith’s 34-yard touchdown pass to Sam Crawford Jr. after UCF’s Johnny Richardson fumbled the second-half kickoff return at his 34-yard line.
After UCF’s field goal, the Hurricane responded with Smith passing 49 yards to Keylon Stokes and 21 to Crawford to key a 75-yard touchdown drive. But Zack Long’s missed PAT left the Hurricane trailing 26-25.
Long later redeemed himself by hitting a 34-yard field with 1:30 left for the final points.
–Field Level Media