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(Saturday, November 24)
Final Score: UCF 49, UAB 24
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Quincy McDuffie scored three rushing touchdowns as the UCF Knights clinched the Conference USA East Division with a 49-24 win over the UAB Blazers in the regular-season finale for both teams at Bright House Networks Stadium.
Blake Bortles completed 17-of-23 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns for the Knights (9-3, 7-1 C-USA). UCF has a chance to avenge last week's loss to West Division champion Tulsa in the C-USA Championship game on Dec. 1.
Jonathan Perry replaced Austin Brown at quarterback for the Blazers (3-9, 2-6) and completed 21-of-28 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns in a losing effort.
UCF marched 65 yards in five plays on its opening possession, which resulted in an 18-yard touchdown pass from Bortles to J.J. Worton for a quick 7-0 lead.
UAB drove all the way down to the UCF 1 on its opening series, but Darrin Reaves lost a fumble and it was recovered in the end zone by the Black Knights for a touchback.
Latavius Murray's three-yard touchdown plunge midway through the first quarter made it a 14-0 game and capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive.
UAB got on the board with a 25-yard field goal from Ty Long with 6:40 to play in the second quarter.
However, on the Blazers' next possession they were forced to punt out of their own end zone and Worton returned it down to the UAB 9, setting up great field position for the Knights. Two plays later, McDuffie scored on a nine-yard run to push the margin to 21-3.
The teams would continue to trade jabs late in the half. The ensuing possession saw Knights defensive back Lyle Dankenbring step in front of an Austin Brown pass and return it 78 yards for a touchdown.
Perry replaced Brown under center on UAB's next drive, and it took him only three plays to find Patrick Hearn for a 76-yard touchdown pass to make it a 28-10 game with 1:28 remaining in the half.
But that proved ample time for the Knights offense, as Bortles engineered a quick five-play, 56-yard drive and tossed a four-yard TD pass to Worton with 26 seconds on the clock.
UCF stretched its lead to 42-10 midway through the third quarter on McDuffie's eight-yard touchdown run.
UAB cut the deficit to 42-24 following a two-yard touchdown run by Perry late in the third quarter and a 15-yard TD pass from Perry to Reaves early in the fourth. However, McDuffie scored again on a 43-yard run with four minutes remaining to seal the outcome.
The Blazers racked up 322 yards from scrimmage in the first half, but three drives inside the red zone netted zero points and sapped their momentum. On the other side of the ball, UAB did little to slow UCF's ground game, which piled up 229 yards (5.9 ypc) and four touchdowns on the day.
11/24 16:57:13 ET
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