Immediate thoughts from UCF’s 23-20 victory over USF on Friday at Brighthouse Networks Stadium:
IT WAS OVER WHEN: UCF’s Jordan Ozerities intercepted USF quarterback Mike White with less than 90 seconds remaining in the game. White had his receiver open to the outside but threw the ball too far inside and right into the hands of Ozerities. UCF took the lead with 4:50 remaining after quarterback Blake Bortles hit Breshad Perriman for a 52-yard touchdown. With the victory UCF earned a share of the AAC conference title and will go to a BCS Bowl with a victory next Saturday against SMU.
BORTLES BATTLES BACK: Bortles was hounded by USF’s defensive line all night and turned the ball over three times. USF defensive end Ryne Giddins executed a strip sack on Bortles and recovered the fumble that allowed USF to score a touchdown and tie the game at 13-all. Neither of Bortles’ interceptions led to points. Bortles finished 17-of-26 for 219 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked three times.
BULLS NEAR MISSES: USF had a golden opportunity to close out the game when Nate Godwin intercepted Bortles at the UCF 28 with 6:42 remaining. The Bulls failed to get a first down and actually lost yards on the drive before Marvin Kloss pulled a 51-yard field goal wide right. UCF would take the lead for good less than a minute later.
STANBACK STANDS TALL: With Storm Johnson plagued by fumbles freshman running back William Stanback came up big in the second half. Stanback had only 33 yards rushing on ten carries but made a difference in the receiving game with six catches for 69 yards.
DAVIS SETS RECORD: USF wide receiver Andre Davis had seven catches for 87 yards and set a USF single-season record with 721 yards receiving.