Tigers edge UCF on road, 21-16 - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Tigers edge UCF on road, 21-16

The Associated Press

ORLANDO - Marcus Murphy returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown and James Franklin added an 80-yard touchdown pass as Missouri ground out a 21-16 win over Central Florida on Saturday.

UCF trailed 21-10 before a late score, but following a Tigers punt, Knights receiver Jeff Godfrey's fumble with 2:26 left allowed Missouri (3-2) to hang on.

UCF (2-2) controlled most of the game, using five sacks and a huge advantage in time of possession to take an early lead.

But miscues on defense and special teams unraveled it all, and the Knights sputtered on offense down the stretch in their bid to defeat their first Southeastern Conference opponent at home.

Coming off a dismal passing performance last week at South Carolina, James Franklin was efficient, going 19-for-30 for 257 yards.

Kendial Lawrence added 104 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Tigers.

Knights quarterback Blake Bortles kept his team in the game, connecting on 29 of his 43 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns.

Prior to Murphy's punt return, the Knights looked to be taking control of the game, leading 10-7 and coming off an interception and fourth sack of Franklin early in the third quarter.

But the slide continued with Missouri capitalizing on a short punt and needing just three plays to take its 21-10 advantage with 9:31 to play in the game.

Offense was plentiful in the first half, with both teams using big plays through the air to reach the end zone.

Missouri had several promising drives stall early before getting on the board via an 80-yard touchdown strike from Franklin to Dorial Green-Beckham. That gave the Tigers a 7-3 lead in the opening minutes of the second quarter.

UCF defensive back A.J. Bouye briefly had Green-Beckham locked up by the legs near the 50 before slipping to the turf. Green-Beckham then sprinted untouched into the end zone.

The play, the Tigers' longest from scrimmage this season, also was a career-best for Franklin.

The Knights responded on the ensuing drive, with Bortles using a 41-yard pass to Rob Calabrese to set up an 11-yard touchdown pass to Quincy McDuffie.

Following a series of punts, UCF got hot again and drove the ball from its own 12 all the way inside the Tigers' 10 with less than 2 minutes to play in the half.

A pass interference call on Missouri gave the Knights first-and-goal on the 3. But after a stuffed run and incomplete pass, the opportunity was squandered as Bortles was sacked, and time expired before the Knights could run out their field goal team.

Despite the final miscue, the Knights' offense had one of their best opening halves of the season with Bortles completing 12 straight passes at one point and 18 for 22 overall for 156 yards. Johnson also averaged nearly 8 yards per carry in racking up 84 yards rushing.

The Tigers were successful at times with their hurry-up offense, but UCF's defense also helped keep Franklin off balance, sacking him three times in the opening 30 minutes.

  • SEC FootballSEC CoverageMore>>

  • LSU baseball earns 12th SEC title

    LSU baseball earns 12th SEC title

    Sunday, May 28 2017 7:44 PM EDT2017-05-28 23:44:15 GMT
    Source: Twitter/SECSource: Twitter/SEC

    Information provided by LSUsports.net The No. 3 LSU baseball team defeated Arkansas, 4-2, to earn its 12th SEC Tournament title Sunday afternoon at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

    More >>

    Information provided by LSUsports.net The No. 3 LSU baseball team defeated Arkansas, 4-2, to earn its 12th SEC Tournament title Sunday afternoon at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

    More >>
  • LSU earns 3rd straight WCWS trip

    LSU earns 3rd straight WCWS trip

    Sunday, May 28 2017 5:26 PM EDT2017-05-28 21:26:51 GMT
    Source: WAFBSource: WAFB

    Senior Sahvanna Jaquish had a 2-run double and a 2-run single to lead LSU Softball to a 6-4 win over Florida State in Sunday's Super Regional Championship game, sending the Tigers back to Oklahoma City and the Women's College World Series for the third year in a row.

    More >>

    Senior Sahvanna Jaquish had a 2-run double and a 2-run single to lead LSU Softball to a 6-4 win over Florida State in Sunday's Super Regional Championship game, sending the Tigers back to Oklahoma City and the Women's College World Series for the third year in a row.

    More >>
  • LSU powers past South Carolina 11-0 to make SEC title game

    LSU powers past South Carolina 11-0 to make SEC title game

    Saturday, May 27 2017 4:11 PM EDT2017-05-27 20:11:44 GMT
    (Source: WAFB)(Source: WAFB)

    Greg Deichmann homered twice to help LSU beat South Carolina 11-0 on Saturday in the Southeastern Conference tournament semifinals.

    More >>

    Greg Deichmann homered twice to help LSU beat South Carolina 11-0 on Saturday in the Southeastern Conference tournament semifinals.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly