Nov. 19, 2005
Box Score |
HOUSTON (AP) - Steven Moffett threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall with 1:25 left, giving UCF a 31-28 win over Rice on Saturday and a spot in the Conference USA title game a year after going winless.
The Golden Knights (8-3, 7-1) posted the biggest turnaround in the country after last year's 0-11 season. UCF, which earlier this year ended the nation's longest losing streak at 17 games spanning two seasons, will play UTEP or Tulsa in the first C-USA championship game Dec. 3.
Jason Venson set up the winning score, returning an interception 13 yards to the Rice 31 with 4:08 remaining. Joe Burnett then intercepted a Rice pass with 27 seconds left to seal the victory.
UCF had to come from behind twice in the fourth quarter.
Rice (1-9, 1-6) took a 21-9 lead at halftime after trailing 9-0 deficit early in the first quarter. Joel Armstrong threw three touchdown passes and ran 17 times for 108 yards to lead the Owls, who themselves held the longest losing streak in the nation at 14 games until last week.
Armstrong's 6-yard touchdown to Jarett Dillard put the Owls up 21-9.
Then UCF put together drives of 81 and 69 yards in the third quarter, the latter ending with Jason Peters' 27-yard TD run that gave the Golden Knights a 24-21 lead.
But on Rice's first offensive play after that, Armstrong hit Mike Falco with an 80-yard pass to put the Owls up 28-24 just 23 seconds into the fourth quarter. Falco finished with three catches for 120 yards and the score.
For UCF, Moffett finished 19-of-29 for 205 yards.
The Golden Knights will host the 2005 Conference USA Football Championship game December 3 at the Florida Citrus Bowl. UCF will face either UTEP or Tulsa.