ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - After 14 practice sessions which began March 13, the UCF football team concluded spring camp Saturday with the annual Spring Game at Bright House Networks Stadium. Fans witnessed just how explosive the aerial attack could be for the Knights in 2013 as the first team defeated the second and third teams, 45-6.
The format Saturday featured the first-team offense (UCF) facing off with the second- and third-team defense (Knights), while the second- and third-team offense (Knights) battled the first-team defense (UCF).
Junior quarterback Blake Bortles went 18-for-24 for 276 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions, while backup Tyler Gabbert finished 13-for-21 with 174 yards. Bortles completed 10-straight passes at one point, and in the second half the Oviedo native played in just the final two minutes of the fourth quarter. The two biggest targets were J.J. Worton, who hauled in eight balls for 163 yards and two scores, and Jeff Godfrey, who dazzled with seven receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown.
Comparing the first day of camp to the final practice April 11, the Knights' first-team offense remained the same throughout the workouts. It was over on the defensive side of the ball where the biggest positions battles were occurring and they were on display Saturday as well.
On the first drive of the game, Bortles started his connections with Worton and Godfrey, as UCF marched down the field only to be stopped by Rucker on third down, forcing a 22-yard field goal by Rodrigo Quirarte to make it 3-0. Gabbert then led the Knights on the next drive with a 49-yard pass to Josh Reese to get inside the 10-yard line. Unable to reach the end zone against the top defensive unit, Shawn Moffitt converted a 23-yard field goal to tie things up.
That was as close as the Knights would get to the UCF first team, with Storm Johnson busting out for a 15-yard touchdown run. Keeping momentum on the UCF sideline, Niles had two sacks and a hurry to force a punt. Bortles then hit Worton to stretch the lead to 17-3 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, redshirt freshman Troy Green and true freshmen Pete DiNovo and Justin Holman finally started getting some action behind center. It would be Holman who broke out, as he would go on to post a 9-for-12 performance with 110 yards and two touchdowns. With the first-team offense, Holman went 4-for-4 for 80 yards and a touchdown to Godfrey on his first drive, bringing the advantage to 24-3 at the break.
Gabbert would open the second half and would face a difficult situation when Deion Green earned his second sack of the day to force third and long. A long pass to Johnson, though, kept the 6-minute drive going. But Easton ended the threat with his interception near the goal line. That led to a 27-yard field goal by Moffitt and a 24-6 deficit for the Knights.
UCF continued to roll along against the Knights in the fourth quarter, where Cedric Thompson delivered a 9-yard touchdown run and Holman enabled Worton to pick up his second touchdown reception of the day with a 6-yard score.
With the first-team defense preventing any opportunity to light up the scoreboard, Bortles returned for the first time since the first half to work the 2-minute drill. Starting from the his own 31-yard line, the signal-caller had little trouble, highlighted by a third-down conversion and a 12-yard touchdown pass to Jacques Mackeroy to wrap up the scoring.
Plan your game days with the Knights, and experience one of the best schedules in program history in the best available seat locations at Bright House Networks Stadium. 2013 season tickets start at $99. To secure your UCF football season tickets, visit UCFAthletics.com or call 407-UCF-1000.