CFB: UCF stops Keenum in 37-32 upset of No. 13 Houston
AP Sports Writer
ORLANDO, Fla. — Central Florida not only found a way to slow down Case Keenum and No. 13 Houston, the Knights didn't give the nation's most prolific passer a chance to pull off another improbable comeback.
Brett Hodges outplayed the Cougars quarterback and Brynn Harvey rushed for 139 yards and three touchdowns Saturday, leading UCF to a 37-32 upset that stopped a five-game winning streak Keenum had kept alive with a pair of last-minute rallies.
Harvey scored on runs of 1, 41 and 7 yards, the last set up by an interception that stopped Keenum's streak of consecutive passing attempts without a pick at 123. Hodges completed 21 of 25 passes for 241 yards and one TD.
Keenum threw for two TDs in the closing minutes, cutting into a 17-point deficit. He finished 33 of 56 for 377 yards and three scores. He had more than 500 yards in each of the previous two games.
UCF entered the game leading the conference in total defense and fewest points allowed despite ranking near the bottom of the league against the pass. The Knights gave up 470 yards passing to Colt McCoy in a 35-3 loss to Texas the previous week, but did a nice job against Keenum after yielding a 51-yard TD throw to Tyron Carrier that gave Houston a 10-0 lead.
After a quick start, Houston (8-2, 4-2) sputtered on offense, and the Cougars added to their woes by not being able to stop Hodges and Harvey after Central Florida (6-4, 4-2) was outgained 179-40 in the first quarter.
Keenum threw a 31-yard TD pass to Carrier to finish a 94-yard that trimmed Houston's deficit to 37-26, then led an 80-yard to score again on a 15-yard TD pass to Chaz Rodriguez. Carrier had nine receptions for 149 yards.
Central Florida had the ball for more than nine minutes of the opening quarter, but couldn't take advantage. Houston produced a field goal and Keenum's first TD pass on its first two possessions, then lost fumbles at the UCF 9 and 20 on its next two drives.
Amazingly, the Cougars clung to a 17-10 lead at the half after Central Florida's offense and special teams, which yielded Devin Mays' 100-yard kickoff return, managed to keep Keenum on the sideline for all but the final 1:18 of the second quarter.
Hodges was 6-of-6 for 45 yards passing on a 15-play, 62-yard drive that ended with Nick Cattoi's 35-yard field goal, then the Knights ran the ball nine times on a 10-play, 62-yard march that freshman Jonathan Davis finished with a 4-yard run for his first career touchdown.
UCF's domination of time of possession continued in the third quarter, with the Knights forcing two three-and-outs to start the period and Harvey scoring touchdowns after each stop to put Central Florida up 23-17.
Hodges, who was 12-of-12 for 135 yards on UCF's first four scoring drives, threw 24 yards to Quincy McDuffie to make it 30-20. The Knights went up 17 midway through the fourth quarter when Harvey scored his third TD after Justin Boddie intercepted Keenum and ran the pick back 22 yards to the Houston 7.
For Keenum, who's thrown for 31 TDs, it was only his sixth interception of the season.