Associated Press

No. 10 UCF overcomes Memphis’ 16-point lead, extends nation’s longest winning streak to 19

Leave a comment

On the same day Scott Frost‘s new team extended a lengthy losing streak, his old team saw their extended winning streak continue — barely.

Very late in the second quarter, No. 10 UCF trailed Memphis by 16 at 30-14.  Over the next two quarters, the Knights overcame both that deficit and a steady downpour to top the Tigers 31-30 in Memphis Saturday afternoon.

UCF has now won a school-record 19 straight games, with its last loss coming in the 2016 Cure Bowl on Dec. 17 of that year.  Only one other FBS team currently has a double-digit winning streak — No. 3 Ohio State, winners of 12 straight after getting past Minnesota this afternoon.

A Taj McGovern 71-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter pulled the Knights to within six at 30-24.  Five minutes later, the Knights saw its first lead since midway through the first quarter as quarterback McKenzie Milton scored from seven yards out to make the score 31-30 with 12:14 remaining.

With under seven minutes left in the game, Darrell Henderson‘s 32-yard touchdown run was wiped out by a penalty; a sack on the next play pushed the Tigers out of field-goal range and forced them to punt.  On the ensuing possession, the Knights picked up a pair of first downs before going for it on a fourth-and-two from their own 40-yard line to keep the drive alive with under three minutes remaining.  While they didn’t get much further, they did bleed time off the clock and forced Memphis to use their remaining timeouts.

A punt gave the Tigers the ball one final time at their own 15-yard line with 1:09 remaining and no timeouts.  A 31-yard hookup between Brady White and Damonte Coxie moved the ball out to U of M’s 46-yard line; another White completion, this one for 19 yards to Sean Dykes, put the Tigers in field-goal range at the Knight’s 35-yard line.  However, a five-yard penalty and 10-second runoff (that was crucial) pushed them out.

A completion in-bounds on the next play bled the final seconds off the clock and kept UCF’s streak alive.

With UCF’s win and No. 2 Georgia’s loss, there are now 10 undefeated teams at the FBS level — No. 1 Alabama, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Clemson, No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 6 West Virginia, No. 10 UCF, No. 19 Colorado, No. 20 North Carolina State, No. 23 USF and No. 25 Cincinnati.  The Buckeyes, Fighting Irish and Bulls have already won in Week 7, while the Crimson Tide, Mountaineers and Buffaloes play tonight.  The Tigers, Wolfpack and Bearcats are on their off weekend.