After having three of the first four games postponed or canceled due to coronavirus, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane headed to central Florida to play a rainy game against the number eleven team in the country, the UCF Knights.
TU opened the game with the ball where they were unable to convert a first down on their first drive and punted the ball to UCF who similarly failed. Several drives later, TU received the ball, but quarterback Zack Smith had a turnover and UCF received the ball on TU’s seven-yard line. A few plays later, Jacob Harris had a 13-yard touchdown reception and that put the Golden Knights up by a score of 7-0. The next drive for TU, Zach Smith’s pass was intercepted by Richie Grant. Three plays later Zaven Collins intercepted a pass and TU received the ball again. The very next play, Corey Taylor fumbled the ball and gave it back to UCF, ultimately making 3 turnovers in 46 seconds. With 7:35 left in the first quarter, UCF got a safety and this put them up by a score of 9-0. Immediately after this, UCF Otis Anderson had a 49-yard touchdown run. Several drives later, Zaven Collins tackled Otis Anderson and got a safety for TU that put them on the board. The next time that TU had the ball they were unable to convert on the first three tries, so they decided to punt the ball. However, they recovered the ball when UCF fumbled it on the return. While TU was not able to get a touchdown on this drive, on the seventh play of the second quarter, Zach Long made a 20-yard field goal. UCF later attempted a 21-yard field goal, but missed it. On UCF’s next drive, Cole Schneider rushed 1 yard for a touchdown giving UCF an eighteen-point lead putting them up 23-5. After missing many of his throws earlier in the game, Zach Smith finally started converting and making his passes. He made three in a row with the third pass resulting in a 48-yard touchdown reception to Josh Johnson. After the extra point was made, UCF’s lead was cut to 23-12 going into the halftime break.
On the opening kickoff of the second half, UCF fumbled, and the ball was recovered by Bryson Powers. The very next play was a 34-yard pass by Zach Smith to Sam Crawford Jr. for a touchdown, cutting the UCF lead down to four points. UCF responded by marching back down the field but settled for a field goal to give themselves a seven-point advantage. TU then drove down the field and scored a touchdown, but they failed to convert what would have been a game tying point after touchdown. The score stayed the same as the game entered the fourth quarter until Zach Smith connected with Keylon Stokes for a thirteen-yard touchdown reception. TU went for two but failed to convert. After both teams went back and forth and each ended drives with a punt, TU had a four-minute drive that resulted in a 34-yard field goal by Zack Long to give TU an eight-point lead. UCF received the ball with 1:30 left in the game, and, while they were able to drive 42 yards down the field, they were unable to get a touchdown. As a result, TU won the game.
Going into this game, the Knights had the second longest home winning streak in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) at 21 games. Their last home loss was on November 19, 2016 against Tulsa. This was the first win for the Golden Hurricane this year and, considering that it came against the number eleven team in the country, should be an encouragement for the team going forward from here. Speaking after the game, head coach Philip Montgomery said, “New year, new season. We’ve got a lot of talent on this football team. On the road in a tough environment. I’m proud of these guys for sticking together. We’ve always been a gritty, tough, hard-nosed football team and we proved that again tonight.” The Golden Hurricane’s next game will be their first home game where they will host the Cincinnati Bearcats on October 17.