UCF Knights Top Tulane, 20-13
By Space Coast Daily // October 19, 2014
third straight game won by a touchdown or less
ABOVE VIDEO: UCF Head Coach George O’Leary and select players talk about UCF’s 20-13 win against the Tulane Green Wave.
UCFKnights.com – For the third consecutive week, UCF held on for a victory of a touchdown or less and the Knights (4-2, 2-0 AAC) took a 20-13 victory over Tulane (2-5, 1-2) Saturday at Bright House Networks Stadium.
The Knights led 20-6 after three quarters of play. But a Tulane touchdown with 11:36 left in the game made things tight down the stretch. The Green Wave got runs of 21 and 35 yards from Lazedrick Thompson and took advantage of a UCF defensive holding penalty to reach the Knights’ 27-yard line. But on 4th-and-2, UCF defensive lineman Thomas Niles wrapped Thompson up in the backfield to end the threat.
Tulane got the ball back once more with 2:09 remaining. The Green Wave started at its own 25, but a sack and three incompletions sealed the seven-point victory. The win came on the heels of a five-point win over Houston (17-12) and a seven-point win over BYU (31-24 in overtime).
UCF head coach George O’Leary will take the notch in the victory column. But it doesn’t mean he’s particularly happy with his team’s effort.
“A win is a win. But it’s hard to enjoy a game like that in my opinion,” O’Leary said.
“We went in to the game talking about four things: consistency, execution, emotion and passion. I don’t think our offense showed one of them in this game. We just can’t continue doing those things. We are lucky to win a game like that, without really doing anything offensively. Defensively, I thought we missed way too many tackles. You enjoy wins, but we have to play a lot better than that if we’re going to do what we have to get done this year.”
The Knights got that message loud and clear.
“You always want to celebrate a win,” senior cornerback Jordan Ozerities said afterward.
“But coach feels it was sloppy all around in all phases of the game. The way the game ended was really sloppy. I know all the guys and myself are ready to go to work and perform better next Saturday.”
Defense held the Knights in it early. Tulane was only able to manage three points out of a pair of first-quarter UCF turnovers deep in Knights’ territory.
“I think they made good stops,” O’Leary said of his defenders. “I expect the defense to be consistent. I thought they were consistent for the most part.”
“We came out lazy today, I’m not sure why” senior wide receiver Breshad Perriman said.
“I know we have a lot of improvements to make looking forward.”
The Knights finally cracked the scoreboard early in the second quarter, taking advantage of a Green Wave miscue deep in its own territory. A bad punt snap gave the Knights possession at the Tulane 15-yard line. A pair of holding penalties pushed the Knights back, butShawn Moffitt converted a 47-yard field goal to tie things at 3-3.
UCF grabbed the lead for good on its next possession. Nick Patti took over at quarterback in the second quarter for starter Justin Holman. He led the Knights on a 12-play, 85-yard march. Patti was 3-of-3 passing for 26 yards and added a 16-yard scramble to push out past midfield. William Stanback took over from there. The sophomore running back carried the next six plays, eventually hitting paydirt from one yard out to make it 10-3 with 4:20 remaining in the half.
Jacoby Glenn’s fourth interception of the season allowed the Knights to extend their advantage before the intermission. Glenn’s one-handed snag of a Nick Montana aerial set up his offense at the Tulane-25. Four plays later, Moffitt was true on a 30-yard field goal and UCF led 13-3 at halftime.
Tulane pulled within a touchdown when Stanback coughed it up on UCF’s first offensive possession of the second half.
The Green Wave recovered at the UCF-24. But the Knight defense once again stiffened and allowed just three points.
UCF responded quickly. A 51-yard Rannell Hall kickoff return put the Knights in business at the Tulane-48. Three plays later, Holman hit Breshad Perriman on a quick slant. Perriman broke one tackle and out-ran the rest of the Tulane defense for a 45-yard scoring strike, giving UCF a 20-6 lead. That score held until Tulane’s early fourth-quarter score. It was a 12-play, 82-yard drive aided by two UCF personal fouls. Thompson ran it in from nine yards out to make it 20-13.
While the Knights held on for the victory, O’Leary made it clear that he expects a better performance, beginning with Sunday’s meetings and Monday’s workout in preparation for a Homecoming game against Temple next week
“Practice is about to change,” the head coach said. “We have to start working harder on offense. I think we’re too soft on offense right now. We have to get better at execution.”