UCF head coach George O’Leary will likely be humming an old Mike & The Mechanics tune on his trip back to Orlando.
All UCF needed was a miracle to claim a share of the American Athletic Conference title. Wide receiver Breshad Perriman answered the Knights’ prayers with a 51-yard touchdown catch as time expired to give the UCF a 32-30 victory over the East Carolina Pirates.
UCF hits a Hail Mary against ECU… George O’Leary is enthused https://t.co/IvMHDHMiSX
— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) December 5, 2014
Horrible late-game play-calling cost the Pirates their ninth win of the season. With 1:47 remaining at UCF’s 15-yard line, the Pirates called four straight plays that resulted in negative yardage.
The Knights took over at their 35-yard line with 10 seconds remaining. Quarterback Justin Holman immediately connected with receiver Josh Reese for a 15-yard completion, which resulted in a first down and a momentary stoppage in play. Then Holman hurled a prayer into the air with Perriman getting behind a pair of East Carolina defensive backs to score the improbable game-winning touchdown.
The talented junior was outstanding and finished the contest with four receptions for 139 yards.
Perriman was topped by college football’s all-time leading receiver, though. East Carolina’s Justin Hardy made 12 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown.
East Carolina moved the ball, particularly in the second half, and posted another 400-yard game on offense. The Pirates gained over 400 yards in every game this season.
Senior quarterback Shane Carden was 36-of-48 passing for 397 yards, three touchdowns and a pair of interceptions in his last game Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Holman was steller, too. UCF’s signal caller completed 67 percent of his passes for 274 yards and one unforgettable touchdown toss.
With the win, UCF will share this year’s American Atheltic Conference championship with the Memphis Tigers. It doesn’t matter how it happened; the Knights can celebrate after their second-straight conference title:
— American Football (@American_FB) December 5, 2014