Nov 18, 2023; Lubbock, Texas, USA;  Central Florida Knights running back RJ Harvey (7) rushes against Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive end Jacob Rodriguez (10) in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium and Cody Campbell Field. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

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UCF takes on Houston, bids to become bowl eligible

UCF will look to capitalize on its second opportunity to become bowl eligible when it hosts Houston on Saturday afternoon in Big 12 Conference action in Orlando, Fla.

The first chance did not go well for the Knights (5-6, 2-6), who squandered a 14-point lead and dropped a 24-23 decision to Texas Tech last Saturday. The win allowed the Red Raiders to become bowl eligible.

Now, UCF will need to defeat another first-time Big 12 member in Houston in order to become bowl eligible for the eighth straight season. The Knights and Cougars spent the previous 10 campaigns in the American Athletic Conference.

UCF will honor its seniors before Saturday’s high-stakes matchup, which is a fact not lost on fifth-year quarterback John Rhys Plumlee.

“I try to cherish the moment, cherish the opportunity I have,” Plumlee said, per the Orlando Sentinel. “This will be another opportunity for me to do just that. (To) be thankful for the opportunity presented and then get a win for the Knights.”

RJ Harvey rushed for two touchdowns against Texas Tech, boosting his total to eight in the last three games and 14 for the season.

While UCF is bidding to become bowl eligible, Houston (4-7, 2-6) squandered a chance at that goal by losing four of its last five games. The Cougars fell 43-30 to Oklahoma State last week.

Undaunted, Houston coach Dana Holgorsen said Saturday’s game should have plenty of meaning for his team.

“This is a Big 12 Conference matchup,” Holgorsen said. “Us and (UCF) are going through the same thing. It’s all transition. It’s hard every week. If that helps being a spoiler, so to speak, then sure, we’re always going to use whatever we can use from a motivation perspective to try and give you any kind of advantage.”

Against the Cowboys, Donovan Smith threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Jonah Wilson, rushed for a 31-yard score, and reeled in a 28-yard TD pass from Joseph Manjack IV.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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