Furman Upsets UCF

By  //  September 20, 2015

ORLANDO — A Bright House Networks Stadium record-long field goal was the difference Saturday night, as Furman upset UCF 16-15.

UCF jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the contest. But Furman scored the next 13. Matthew Wright’s 29-yard field goal gave the Knights a 15-13 lead into the fourth quarter. The Paladins’ Jon Croft Hollingsworth hit a 55-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter and the Furman defense made the one-point margin hold.

The Knights managed just 269 yards on offense and turned the ball over four times in the contest. UCF looked to be in control early. The Knights had 110 yards of offense and a 7-0 lead after the first 15 minutes, but they could only manage 159 yards and eight more points over the final three quarters.

George O'Leary
George O’Leary

“We’ve got to improve,” UCF head coach George O’Leary said. “You can’t be dropping balls. You can’t be fumbling. You can’t be turning the ball over out there. That’s what the problem is as far as tonight, anyway.”

Nick Patti got the scoring started with 1:45 left in the first quarter, going six yards to cap a 13-play, 84-yard march with 1:45 left in the first quarter. The Knights increased their lead to 10-0 early in the second quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, Cedric Thompson and Brendan Straubel combined to force and recover a fumble, leading to a 24-yard field goal from Matt Wright.

The Knight defense put a pair of points on the board on a safety with nine minutes left in the second quarter, putting UCF on top 12-0. Furman answered with 13 straight points to grab the lead. Ernie Cain hit paydirt from one yard out, capping a nine-play, 75-yard drive, to make it 12-7 late in the second quarter. Reese Hannon found Andrej Suttles for a 61-yard touchdown pass to go on top 13-12 early in the third.

UCF had the ball four more times after Hollingsworth’s field goal, but punted twice and turned the ball over twice.

Wild, Wild Knight
– With starting quarterback Justin Holman out with an injury, the Knights went with a heavy dose of the Wild Knight formation early in the game with Patti taking the snaps.
– Patti rushed for six times for 39 yards and a six-yard touchdown to account for the first TD of the game.
– He finished with 58 yards on 14 carries, while going 0-for-2 passing.
“I thought Patti went out and did a nice job. We blocked early for him very well. And then we didn’t sustain blocks inside.” — Coach O’Leary

D is for Domenic, Again
– Senior linebacker Domenic Spencer was the Knights’ leading tackler in the game with 10 total stops.
– For Spencer, it was his second consecutive game with a career-best number of tackles.
– It was also his first-ever double-digit tackle performance.

Safety Dance
Chequan Burkett sacked Furman quarterback Reese Hannon in the end zone for a safety in the second quarter.
– The last safety for UCF was Nov. 28 of last season at USF. The last time the Paladins were stopped in their own end zone was in 2006.
– Burkett’s safety marked the first sack of the season for the Knights.