UCF denies Southern Miss first win
Published: Sunday, October 14, 2012
Updated: Sunday, October 14, 2012 20:10
The problem for the Eagles came defensively. UCF quarterback Blake Bortles picked apart the Eagles’ defense as he completed 27 passes for 272 yards. The Knights scored five touchdowns on the ground. Running backs Storm Johnson and Latavius Murray combined for three touchdowns while Bortles added two rushing touchdowns of his own.
It was the fourth week in a row that Southern Miss faced a non-spread attack centered around a strong running game, and, for the fourth week in a row, the defense struggled. The biggest improvement for the team was with third-down conversions. The Knights only converted five of 14 while the Eagles converted eight of 14. However, UCF was three for three on fourth down conversion attempts and used several big runs on second downs to keep drives moving.
It was a night where the young talent of the Eagles showed up. Freshman running back Jalen Richard had the best game of his young career as he gained 87 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Alford had the best game of his freshman season, as well. Defensively, freshman Wil Freeman recorded the first sack of his career.
After the game USM Head Coach Ellis Johnson reflecting on the game saying, “You can take a lot of optimism from how hard our kids played. Just a tough, tough way to lose it and to not come up with [the game]. When you see improvement, you have something to hang your hat on. We just have to keep pounding away.”