It took a while for UCF to get things rolling, but they found their offensive flair late in the first half to take a 13-6 lead against USF. A win for UCF will clinch at least a share of the American Athletic Conference championship, which will likely come with an automatic BCS bowl spot in the postseason.
The teams had traded field goals, with USF holding a 6-3 edge, throughout the first half until the Golden Knights put together a 12-play drive covering 92 yards to score the game’s first touchdown. Blake Bortles completed a pass to Justin Tukes for the score to take the lead for the first time of the game. The touchdown drive started deep in their own territory after UCF recovered a USF fumble off the snap as the Bulls were threatening.
Before the half, a poor punt by USF set up UCF for one last score and they took advantage of the opportunity. Although they took some shots in to the end zone, UCF was held to a field goal. Shawn Moffit converted his second field goal of the half to extend UCF’s lead to 13-6.
Orange Bowl representatives are at the game in Orlando. It is likely that if UCF clenches the share of the American, they will be invited to play in Miami. Miami would make the most sense for UCF, because it is the destination that would figure to draw the largest crowd among all of the potential BCS bowl bids. The Orange Bowl would also probably not be inviting Northern Illinois for a second straight season, especially considering the tension surrounding the invite to the Huskies last year as a BCS buster. That said, a match-up of UCF vs. Northern Illinois could actually be a rather entertaining game.
But first, UCF needs to finish off this game against USF with a win.