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)

(1)

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.”

GOING TO THE GROUND

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.”

HOMECOMING KEENE

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.”

EXTRA POINTS

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.

THE TAKEAWAY

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.

UP NEXT

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.

AP

New York Islanders celebrate after scoring a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second ...
Associated Press

Varlamov makes 21 saves as Islanders blank Blackhawks 3-0

NEW YORK (AP) — Matt Martin, Zach Parise and Brock Nelson scored second-period goals and Semyon Varlamov made 21 saves as the New York Islanders downed the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 on Sunday night. The Islanders fired 40 shots at Blackhawks netminder Arvid Soderblom in snapping a two-game losing streak and improving to 9-4-0 at home. […]
20 hours ago
Southern California guard Boogie Ellis, right, drives to the basket against Oregon State forward Ty...
Associated Press

Johnson punctuates USC comeback as Trojans down Oregon State

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Johnson scored 17 points shooting 7 for 10 and USC’s methodical second-half comeback led to a 63-62 win on Sunday night over Oregon State. Dzmitry Ryuny’s 3-pointer early in the second half gave the Beavers their last double-digit lead of the night at 37-27. The Trojans (6-3, 2-0 Pac-12) then […]
20 hours ago
Santos soccer team supporters secure a banner with the image of former soccer star Pele, in front o...
Associated Press

Pelé’s family: COVID caused infection, death not imminent

SAO PAULO (AP) — Two daughters and one grandson of Brazilian soccer great Pelé said the three-time World Cup winner has been hospitalized since Tuesday to treat a respiratory infection aggravated by COVID-19. They added that the 82-year-old is under no imminent risk of death. Kely and Flavia Nascimento and Arthur Arantes do Nascimento said […]
20 hours ago
Buffalo Sabres right wing Jack Quinn (22) celebrates his goal during the second period of an NHL ho...
Associated Press

Jack Quinn scores twice, Sabres beat Sharks 6-3

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Jack Quinn scored twice to help the Buffalo Sabres beat the San Jose Sharks 6-3 on Sunday night. Tage Thompson, JJ Peterka, Jeff Skinner and Alex Tuch also scored for Buffalo, and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 26 saves. The Sabres scored three times in the second period to take control. “We just […]
20 hours ago
Arizona State guard Desmond Cambridge Jr. celebrates a turnover by Stanford during the second half ...
Associated Press

Cambridge Jr. scores 19, Arizona State beats Stanford 68-64

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Desmond Cambridge Jr. scored 19 points and Arizona State used a late run to beat Stanford 68-64 Sunday night for the Sun Devils’ sixth consecutive win. Stanford used a 13-2 run early in the second half and later a 10-2 spurt that gave the Cardinal their first lead since 2-0 when […]
20 hours ago
Northwestern's Matthew Nicholson, left, dunks against Michigan State's Joey Hauser (10) during the ...
Associated Press

Northwestern beats No. 20 Michigan State in Big Ten opener

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Boo Buie scored 20 points and Northwestern beat No. 20 Michigan State 70-63 on Sunday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams. Chase Audige added 15 points and Ty Berry had 13 for Northwestern (6-2), which ended a two-game losing streak. “Needless to say, this was a huge […]
20 hours ago
Harvey scores 2 TDs as UCF beats No. 20 Cincinnati 25-21