Central Florida is now in the driver’s seat for the Group of Five’s berth to the New Year’s Six bowl games.
No. 17 South Florida, the highest-ranked non-Power Five conference team, lost at home 28-24 to Houston on Saturday. Not only does the loss ruin South Florida’s hopes for an undefeated season, the game snapped the Bulls’ 24-game streak of scoring 30 or more points.
Houston entered the game off a home loss to Memphis. After holding Memphis scoreless in the first half last week, the Cougars gave up 42 second-half points in a 42-38 loss. Following that performance, the USF streak was going to reach 25 games, right?
Nah. While Houston gave up three rushing touchdowns to South Florida, it stifled the Bulls’ run game. South Florida had 55 carries for a paltry 137 yards. And the Cougars got offensive contributions from two unlikely contributors.
Houston QB D’Eriq King was 12-of-20 passing for two touchdowns and an interception after replacing Kyle Postma. King also had two rushing touchdowns as running back Mulbah Car had 18 carries for 127 yards. He entered the game with three carries for 10 yards.
King, meanwhile, had thrown just two passes all season. He scored the winning touchdown on a 20-yard run with 11 seconds left. The score came after a crazy heave on fourth down got Houston in position for either the tie or the win.
UCF, which entered the weekend at No. 18, will move to 7-0 with a win over Austin Peay. With South Florida’s loss, the Bulls’ in-state rival will undoubtedly be the highest-ranked Group of Five team in Tuesday’s CFP rankings. And if the Knights stay there, UCF will give the American Athletic Conference a second New Year’s Six bowl in four seasons.
More college football coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Wild play: OSU interception turns into Penn State TD
• Giant-killer Iowa State upsets No. 4 TCU
• Tulsa WR has TD taken away for high-stepping
• Quarterback change coming for Michigan?
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