Entering the 2019 season, being on the wrong side of the won-loss ledger wasn’t something the UCF program was used to the last couple of years. Unfortunately for that AAC school, it’s become an all-too-familiar feeling of late.
In 2017 and 2018, the Knights won all 24 of its regular-season games. Add in the first three games of the 2019 campaign, and they were riding a 27-game in-season winning streak in addition to winning 29 of 30 overall. Week 4, however, saw that streak abruptly snapped as Pitt upended UCF on a trick play in the final minute of a one-point Knights loss.
Another loss to Cincinnati two weeks later followed, although UCF righted the ship to win three in a row heading into its Week 11 matchup with Tulsa on the road Friday night. Exiting it, however, the Knights head back to the Sunshine State with its third loss in seven games as the Golden Hurricane, who entered the game as 17-point underdogs, came away with a 34-31 upset win.
UCF held a 28-17 lead at halftime and took a 31-24 advantage into the fourth quarter. A 17-yard touchdown catch by the Golden Hurricane’s Sam Crawford Jr. from Seth Boomer, who replaced the injured starter Zach Smith, with 9:01 left knotted the score at 31-all; a 23-yard field goal by Jacob Rainey, who has missed eight on the season, four minutes later proved to be the game-winner.
The loss not only drops UCF to 7-3 overall but to 4-2 in conference play, two games in the loss column behind a Cincinnati squad that has already knocked off the Knights. UCF will need to win its last two games (at Tulane, USF) and hope Cincinnati loses three of its last four (UConn, at USF, Temple, at No. 21 Memphis) in order to have a shot at claiming the AAC East.
With the win, Tulsa improves to 3-7 on the season.