Oct. 13, 2007
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TAMPA, Fla. -
Tampa, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - UCF dropped a 64-12 decision to in-state foe USF on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium. The fifth-ranked Bulls (6-0, 1-0 Big East) were led by quarterback Matt Grothe, who combined for four touchdowns in the game - two on the ground and two through the air.
Grothe finished with 212 passing yards and 100 yards on the ground, while Taurus Johnson led the Bulls with six catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bulls built a 10-0 lead before UCF (3-3, 1-1 C-USA) cut the deficit to three with a two-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Kyle Israel. Junior running back Kevin Smith went over 3,000 career rushing yards on the scoring drive, carrying six times for 37 yards to help set up the Knights' lone touchdown. He was the third Knight in school history to achieve that feat.
USF outscored the Knights 17-3 in the second quarter. Grothe had a six-yard touchdown run and eight-yard scoring pass to Johnson with two seconds remaining in the stanza to help the Bulls claim a 29-10 lead at the break. Senior Michael Torres added a 35-yard field goal in the second quarter for UCF.
The Bulls added two more third-quarter touchdowns, while their defense held the UCF offense to 145 total yards for the game. Smith combined for 100 yards, gaining 55 on the ground and 45 on three receptions. He had a 42-yard reception in the second quarter that was a career long and his 12th play of 20-plus yards this season.
After a school-record five straight 100-yard rushing games, Smith was held below that mark for the first time this season. Through six games, he has 915 yards on the ground for the season.
Johnson added his second receiving touchdown of the game on a nine-yard pass from Grant Gregory in the fourth quarter. The Knights were able to tack on a safety when Sha'reff Rashad brought down Aston Samuels in the endzone. It was the second safety of the season for the UCF defense. Rashad finished with a career-high 12 tackles and also forced a fumble.
UCF linebacker Cory Hogue also reached double figures in tackles with 10 solo stops. Juniors Antonio Wallace and Jason Venson each had two tackles for loss as the Knights finished with eight TFLs in the game.
The Knights will return home following their two-game road trip on Saturday with a Conference USA tilt against Tulsa. Kickoff for that game is scheduled for 4 p.m.