Knights win double overtime thriller
Southern Mississippi responded with a touchdown of their own, thanks to a 16-yard run by quarterback Anthony Alford halfway through the the second quarter, cutting the UCF lead to three. The rest of the quarter was very defensive until the winding seconds of the half, when the Knights would extend their lead to 17-7 with just five seconds remaining in the quarter on a QB sneak by quarterback Blake Bortles.
Defense was the theme in the first half with Southern Mississippi only gaining 113 yards of total offense.
The Knights’ defense started the third quarter right where they left off at halftime. UCF was able to intercept Southern Mississippi quarterback Anthony Alford on his third play from scrimmage, when he tried throwing a short pass on third down, only to have it intercepted by UCF cornerback Jordan Ozerities. UCF was unable to capitalize on the interception though, when Shawn Moffitt missed a 42-yard field goal.
Southern Mississippi was able to cut the deficit to three when Jalen Richard scored on a 15-yard touchdown run with seven minutes to go in the third quarter. Before the touchdown run by Richard, Southern Mississippi had only gained 45 yards on the ground, 36 of which belonged to USM quarterback Anthony Alford.
UCF went into the fourth quarter holding onto 17-14 lead, but were able to extend that lead to 24-14 when Storm Johnson ran 32 yards for a touchdown with 11:45 left to play.
Southern Mississippi was able to respond quickly though, by getting a second touchdown run by Jalen Richard. The 14 yard touchdown run cut the UCF lead back down to three. Southern Mississippi got the ball back one last time with three minutes remaining in the game, and took advantage of their opportunity by tying the game with a 27-yard field goal by kicker Corey Acosta.
Southern Mississippi was able to score a touchdown on their first overtime drive, when quarterback Anthony Alford ran two yards for his second touchdown of the game. The touchdown gave Southern Mississippi a 31-24 lead, marking their first lead of the game. UCF responded quickly with a 10-yard touchdown run by Latavius Murray, tying the game at 31-31, leading to a second overtime.
The Knights started the second overtime with the ball and were able to jump out to a 38-31 lead following another Latavius Murray touchdown run. UCF quarterback Blake Bortles gave credit to the offensive line after the game when he said, “The offensive line took over when we went to overtime.”
“We had to make up for all the yards we gave them in the first, second, third and fourth,” said Kemal Ishmael.
UCF improve to 4-2, while also improving their record in C-USA to 2-0.
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