Feb. 14, 2014
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Brian Ormiston
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The buzz for the UCF-Penn State tilt was evident the night before when members of the Gaelic Athletic Association were in University Park, Pa., to catch up with both schools in anticipation of the 2014 Croke Park Classic in Ireland.
But thoughts of next season's trip to Dublin were quickly put aside the following day when the Knights and Nittany Lions provided a heart-pounding show (which would become one of the themes of UCF's 2013 campaign) Sept. 14.
Both teams entered with 2-0 marks, as UCF searched for its first 3-0 start since 1988 and its first win over a Big Ten school. When the Knights won the coin toss, they had a plan on their opening drive. And they stuck to it.
A total of 13 plays and 89 yards later, UCF had a 7-0 lead on a mix of seven passes and six rushes. Penn State did answer, and would not go away throughout the contest, even with the Knights up 31-17 late in the third quarter.
When the Nittany Lions closed to within 34-31 with 2:51 remaining, they elected to put the game into the hands of their defense with no timeouts left. As opponents would learn in 2013, UCF's late-game offense was just too much as J.J. Worton's 13-yard reception, with key blocks from Breshad Perriman and Rannell Hall, gave the Knights the first down they needed to run out the clock.
Worton finished with 101 receiving yards highlighted by a diving touchdown catch in the corner of the endzone in the second quarter. On the ground, Storm Johnson racked up 117 yards and a score, while Blake Bortles delivered a 20-for-27 performance with 288 yards and three touchdowns.
Final score: UCF 34, Penn State 31.
UCF's record: 3-0 Overall, 0-0 American
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2014 Football Season Tickets: The March to Victory starts with UCF fans. Renew or order season tickets, starting at $99, today online or call 407-UCF-1000. And to learn about the Croke Park Classic against Penn State Aug. 30 in Dublin, Ireland, check out UCF.CrokeParkClassic.com.