Saturday, December 22, 2012
BARRETT A CHAMPION AT LAST
The Knights, whose staff includes former CFL coaches Charlie Taaffe and Danny Barrett, dominated Ball State 38-17 on Friday night in their final game as a member of Conference USA.
"Offensively, this is one of the best games we had all year,'' quarterback Blake Bortles said. "Everyone just really picked up and went, and that's why we won the way we did.''
Bortles threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns. The red-shirt sophomore also rushed for a career-high 80 yards and scored on a 6-yard run that helped UCF (10-4) build a 21-point halftime lead.
Bortles tossed first-half TD passes 7 and 5 yards to Latavius Murray, who also scored on a 2-yard run. J.J. Worton's 7-yard scoring reception made 35-10 late in the third quarter. Bortles completed 22 of 33 passes without an interception to become UCF's first 3,000-yard passer since 2002. His three TD passes were a career-best and tied the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl record.
UCF, one of several schools joining the Big East next season, rebounded from an overtime loss in the Conference USA title game to finish with double-digit victories for the third time since stepping up to the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Knights also won 10 in 2007 and 2010, when they were Conference USA champions.
UFC also features a pair of former CFL head coaches. Offensive co-ordinator Charlie Taaffe previously led Montreal and Hamilton, while running backs coach Danny Barrett coached Saskatchewan after his player career as a CFL quarterback ended.
The Associated Press