The UCF Knights remained in the race to win an American Athletic Conference crown with a 31-7 victory over Tulsa Friday.
UCF is now 4-1 in conference play and tied with the Memphis Tigers and Cincinnati Bearcats. This is especially important since all three teams are jockeying to become the representative from the “Group of Five” conferences not included in the College Football Playoff discussion to earn a berth in a New Year’s bowl game.
Tie-breakers will likely decide which team will win the conference since UCF doesn’t play either Memphis or Cincinnati this season.
Friday’s contest became a statement game for quarterback Justin Holman. The sophomore signal-caller has been maddeningly inconsistent this season as evidenced by a four-interception performance in a loss to the Connecticut Huskies last week. UCF head coach George O’Leary challenged him this week to step up his play, and the quarterback did so in impressive fashion.
Even with dealing with a shoulder injury that sent him to the locker room for a short time, Holman set a career-high with three passing touchdowns. The quarterback finished the contest 16-of-27 passing for 291 yards.
Senior Josh Reese was Holman’s top target. The experienced wide receiver caught four passes for 104 yards. Meanwhile, sophomore running back Dontravious Wilson averaged 5.1 yards per carry for 87 yards as the team’s top rusher.
It was also an important victory for O’Leary.
Among rumors of retirement this season, O’Leary continues to put a successful program on the field. One that has a chance to win a second consecutive American Athletic Conference title.