UCF routs Temple in annual Space Game

(Photo credit: @UCF.Football instagram)
Written by Andrew Johnson (@realnews102) 

Orlando, FL – John Rhys Plumlee took flight in UCF’s annual Space Game with seven total touchdowns to dominate the Temple Owls 70-13. Plumlee’s seven touchdowns ties a UCF record with Darin Slack (1987) and Daunte Culpepper (1998).

Knights head coach Gus Malzahn said that Plumlee continues to develop chemistry with the offense and likely played his best game tonight. 

“He’s a savvy guy and I think everyone understands how great of a competitor he is,” Malzahn said.

UCF (5-1) shined on both sides of the ball in its largest FBS win in program history for its fourth consecutive and second American Atheltic Conference win this season. 

Both Ryan O’Keefe and Auburn transfer Kobe Hudson displayed terrific run-after-catch abilities to rack up 232 combined receiving yards with four touchdown catches. (O’Keefe – 111 yards | Hudson – 121 yards) 

The Knights’ defense continued to dominate, holding yet another team under 20 points. Despite no sacks or forced turnovers, Temple (2-4) was held to 7-17 on third-down conversions and just 4.4 yards per play.

“The difference was probably Coach T-Will talking to us going into halftime, he was just telling us to let’s go shut them out that’s not our standard,” UCF defensive end Josh Celiscar said. “We believe that we could have shut them out in the first half, or the whole game. The defense has a lot of growing to do and we have a lot of momentum going on.”

UCF Offensive LiftOff

UCF controlled the entirety of the game with a strong balanced attack. The offense finished with 737 total yards and went 6-7 on third-down conversions while averaging 11.4 yards per play. This was perhaps the most complete offensive performance this season. 

Plumlee – 18/22, 373 yards, 𝟒 TDs and 0 ints | 7 carries for 37 yards and 𝟑 𝐭𝐝𝐬.

Ryan O’Keefe – 7 receptions, 111 yards, 2 TDs

Kobe Hudson – 4 receptions, 121 yards, 2 TDs

R.J Harvey – 4 rushes for 73 yards

UCF Defense 

The Knights held Temple to 56 unanswered points in the second half and just 59 total rushing yards.

UCF displayed their No.1 ranked red zone defense on Temple’s first possession with a crucial stop to force a 26-yard field goal on the 8-yard line. That was the 16th time in 20 drives this season that the Knights have kept an opponent out of the end zone.

Jason Johnson | 9 total tackles | 1 TFL | 1 QBH

Josh Celiscar | 6 total tackles | 1 QBH

Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste | 4 total tackles | 1 PBU

New Faces 

Thomas Castellanos | QB

6-6 60 passing yards | 3 rushes 88 yards 1 TD

Jordan McDonald | RB 

9 rushes | 44 yards | 1 TD

Demari Henderson | DB |Freshman

3 tackles | 2 PBU | 1 QH

Nikai Martinez | DB | Freshman 

3 total tackles

Kam Moore | LB | Freshman 

1 tackle | 1 TFL

Dwartney Worthham | WR | Walk-On

2 receptions | 30 yards

Temple Struggles

For Temple, the Owls struggled against UCF’s stout defense and were shut out in the second half. Freshman quarterback E.J Warner finished 24/43 for 234 passing yards and 1 TD. 

Total Yards: 293

7-17 on third downs

Jose Barbon – 7 receptions for 103 yards | 1 TD 

Edward Saydee – 9 rushes for 41 yards

UCF will travel to Greenville to face off against the East Carolina Pirates (4-3) on Oct. 22. The series between the two programs is tied at 10-10.

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