UCF remain winless after 59-10 homecoming loss to Houston


Bryce Brimhall / Valencia Voice

Justin Holman threw three interceptions along with 183 yards and one touchdown against Houston.

ORLANDO — Justin Holman threw three interceptions and UCF gave up 52 unanswered points to finish the game as the Knights fell to the 21st-ranked Houston Cougars 59-10 on Homecoming at Bright House Networks Stadium on Saturday.

The Knights had a 10-7 lead with 4:38 remaining in the first half but the Cougars put up 45 unanswered points, including 17 points in the final 2:30 of the second half.

“We don’t have enough playmakers right now to get off the field,” said UCF head coach George O’Leary following the game. “Even though at times I thought we should have, we missed tackles we should have made and they didn’t do anything significant except run plays and we didn’t tackle.”

UCF started the game by putting together two good plays to get into Houston territory before Cam Stewart fumbled the ball allowing Brandon Wilson to return it 85 yards for a touchdown, putting the Cougars up 7-0.

The Knights tied the game at 7-7 when Holman hit Tristan Payton for a 46-yard touchdown pass marking the quarterback’s first touchdown since the UConn game and the freshman’s first receiving touchdown of his career.

Matt Wright gave UCF a 10-7 lead when he hit a 48-yard field goal with 4:38 remaining in the first half. That would be the last time the Knights would score as the Cougars rallied off 52 straight points including five rushing touchdowns.

“Both sides played decent in the first half,” said O’Leary of his team. “Second half was the exact opposite for both.”

Holman went 13-26 for the game while throwing for 180 yards and a touchdown to go along with three interceptions. The second-year signal caller has thrown eight interceptions to two touchdowns since returning from a finger injury in Week 6.

UCF finished the game with four turnovers giving them a four-turnover game for the second time in three weeks.

“If you turn the ball over you’re not going to win the game,” said UCF wide receiver Taylor Oldham. “It doesn’t matter how good you are.”

Dontravious Wilson did rush for 72 yards for the Knights, giving him UCF’s best rushing performance of the season by a single player, while he also gained more yards than the rushing game as a whole did the past three games combined.

Houston finished the game out gaining UCF 600-280 in total yards, while putting up 300 yards rushing. Greg Ward Jr. went 16-23 passing for 210 yards and a touchdown while adding another score with his feet.

“It’s hard to call plays when you don’t get any movement on the line of scrimmage,” said O’Leary when asked about Brent Key’s play calling during Saturday’s game.

Cougars running back Kenneth Farrow rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns for the game, as he went on to have the biggest rushing game against UCF all season.

The loss marked UCF’s worst loss since moving into Bright House Networks Stadium in 2007.

With the loss the Knights remain winless at 0-8 and things won’t get any easier for UCF as they prepare to travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats on Saturday, Oct. 31.

All photos by Bryce Brimhall / Valencia Voice