Harvey scores 2 TDs as UCF beats No. 20 Cincinnati 25-21

Oct 29, 2022, 4:28 AM | Updated: 6:03 pm

Central Florida cornerback Brandon Adams, left, and defensive back Divaad Wilson, right, break up a pass intended for Cincinnati wide receiver Tre Tucker (1) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — RJ Harvey had a 17-yard touchdown run with 48 seconds remaining, sending UCF to a 25-21 win over No. 20 Cincinnati on Saturday.

Harvey’s go-ahead TD capped a seven-play, 75-yard march directed by Mikey Keene. The backup quarterback was 4 for 4 for 57 yards on the drive.

“We have our plays that we go through during the week so it’s like second nature to us,” Keene said. “I just try to put the ball in a good place and let the guys go out there and make plays.”

Cincinnati (6-2, 3-1) had won 19 straight American Athletic Conference games, including victories in the past two league championship games.

Cincinnati took a 21-18 lead with 3:04 remaining. Ryan Montgomery scored on a 39-yard touchdown run, and the Bearcats added the 2-point conversion on a Ben Bryant pass to Tyler Scott.

“We didn’t get it done tonight, it wasn’t from a lack of will or a lack of fight,” Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell said. “We just got exposed in some situations where we have to be a lot better.”

UCF (6-2, 3-1) took a 10-6 lead into halftime on the strength of a 26-yard touchdown run by Harvey. The Knights added a safety in the third quarter when Josh Celiscar sacked Bryant in the end zone.

Cincinnati had won six in a row since a season-opening loss to Arkansas. Bryant passed for 298 yards and a touchdown, and Montgomery had a team-high 40 yards rushing on three carries.

Harvey had 18 carries for 84 yards for UCF. The Knights finished with 258 yards on the ground and 247 through the air.

“We talked all week that the most physical team is going to win this game,” UCF coach Gus Malzahn said. “We had to get ready for a fistfight. … We beat a championship program.”

Following a fumble recovery, Bryant threw a 14-yard touchdown to Josh Whyte to make it 13-12 at the end of the third quarter. Whyte’s TD capped a 10-play, 84-yard drive.

“They battled, they fought, but we weren’t at our best today,” Fickell said. “We found a way to get ourselves into the game. It was back-and-forth.”

UCF quarterback John Rhys Plumlee was 7 of 11 for 71 yards when he was knocked out of the game late in the first half. He also rushed for 31 yards.

“He couldn’t come back in,” Malzahn said. “I think he had a concussion. He got hit pretty hard over there and was a little wobbly.”


UCF outgained Cincinnati 258-35 on the ground. UCF had three players with over 50 yards rushing. Isaiah Bowser had 58 yards and a touchdown, and Ryan O’Keefe had 51 yards on six carries.

Keene credited the team’s offensive line for its rushing success.

“We’ve got the backs to make stuff happen, but they got the holes today,” Keene said. “The offensive line was great and pushed their defense back.”


Malzahn said Keene’s confidence never wavered despite losing the quarterback battle to Plumlee in the offseason. He continued to practice as if he were going to be the starting quarterback each week.

“For him to step up in that moment and seize the moment on that last drive, that dude’s a winner with a capital ‘W,'” Malzahn said. “We’re walking in at halftime he said ‘Coach, I got your back,’ that’s just who the guy is.”


Keene was 7-3 as a starter last season, but lost to Cincinnati, 56-21. … UCF’s last win over a ranked opponent was in 2018, a 38-13 win over No. 19 Cincinnati.


Cincinnati: Outside of Montgomery’s touchdown run, the Bearcats couldn’t get anything established on the ground.

“Sometimes things aren’t going well and you have to find other ways to get it done,” Fickell said. “They forced us to throw the ball more, but that’s not how we want to play.”

UCF: Keene’s experience from starting 10 games last year as a true freshman proved to be invaluable. He walked into a tough situation, but one he was familiar with. Keene put together his best drive of the day when the Knights needed it most and kept UCF in contention for the conference championship.


Cincinnati: Hosts Navy next Saturday.

UCF: At Memphis next Saturday.


AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/mrxhe6f2

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

7 months ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

7 months ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

7 months ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

7 months ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

7 months ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

7 months ago

Harvey scores 2 TDs as UCF beats No. 20 Cincinnati 25-21