Scores

Final

East Carolina 20

(3-3, 2-1 American)

UCF 40

(3-2, 1-0 American)

Coverage: CBS Sports Network

8:00 PM ET, October 4, 2012

Bright House Networks Stadium, Orlando, FL

1 2 3 4 T
ECU 14 3 3 020
UCF 7 13 10 1040

Top Performers

Passing: B. Bortles (UCF) - 269 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: B. Bortles (UCF) - 6 CAR, 62 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: J. Hardy (ECU) - 5 REC, 119 YDS, 1 TD

McDuffie accounts for two TDs as UCF doubles up East Carolina

Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Central Florida entered its Conference USA opener needing a win to slow division mate East Carolina, which already was 2-0 in league play and set to face a favorable schedule against several weaker teams the rest of the season.

Then the Knights fell behind by two touchdowns quickly, before Quincy McDuffie sparked them with a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on the way to a 40-20 victory Thursday night.

McDuffie also scored on a 64-yard touchdown catch, and Knights quarterback Blake Bortles threw for a touchdown and ran for another. Shawn Moffitt kicked four field goals.

"There wasn't anything we ran that got stopped," Bortles said. "Our goal is to put points on the board every possession. We definitely want touchdowns as the end results, but even though some of those ended up with field goals, we still got points on the board."

UCF (3-2, 1-0 Conference USA) scored on eight consecutive possessions to seize control of the game, while its defense tightened and allowed only a field goal after halftime.

The Pirates (3-3, 2-1) led 14-0 early but lost an opportunity to take control of C-USA's East Division. Quarterback Shane Carden had a rushing score and 76-yard touchdown pass but threw an interception and was sacked twice.

With senior tailback Reggie Bullock out after sustaining a concussion last week against UTEP, Vintavious Cooper -- who had 151 yards in the win over the Miners -- had to shoulder the majority of the rushing duties with only a little relief from Michael Dobson. Cooper finished with 58 yards rushing Thursday but failed to get into the end zone.

The 40 points allowed by the Pirates were second only to the 48 they allowed in their 48-10 loss to South Carolina on Sept. 8.

"We wanted to start fast and we did have the momentum early, but then some special-teams mishaps and we lost momentum," ECU coach Ruffin McNeill said. "Something tough like that happens, you got to play the next play and get the momentum back. We had some opportunities to gain it back, but just didn't do it."

It was easily UCF's strongest collective effort of the season on offense. It also got a boost from the return of running back Latavius Murray, who played in his first game since suffering a shoulder injury in the season opener Aug. 30.

Meanwhile, ECU came apart on both sides of the ball in the second half, never recovering from an early momentum swing. The loss kept the Pirates from moving to 3-0 for just the third time since 2001.

ECU, which had outscored its previous two league opponents 52-32, was outscored by UCF 20-3 after halftime. The fast-moving, no-huddle offense that was successful early whittled largely because of its lackluster 4-for-14 performance on third down.

McNeill said not stopping UCF was more of a problem.

"Our defense has been getting people off the field all year, but you got to give some credit to UCF. They did a very good job," McNeill said.

Early on it looked as if the Pirates were headed for a romp, methodically marching 75 yards for a touchdown on the opening drive of the night to take a 7-0 lead.

Carden was efficient in the air throughout, going 6-for-7 for 40 yards passing on the drive. ECU also converted a fourth-and-1 near midfield to keep the series alive.

It was the first time this season that the Pirates scored first in a game. Entering Thursday, UCF's defense had also allowed only seven points all season in the first quarter.

UCF went three and out on its first touch of the night, and ECU's offense needed just one more play to put the Knights in a 14-0 hole, this time via Carden's 76-yard strike down the sideline to Justin Hardy.

The fast-paced scoring continued on the ensuing kickoff, though, when UCF's McDuffie bounced outside and got free for a 99-yard kickoff return to get the Knights back in the game.

The back-to-back scores spanned just 25 seconds.

UCF then tied it a series later on a 4-yard touchdown run by Storm Johnson.

The Knights end a four-game homestand next Saturday when they host Southern Mississippi. The Pirates return home to host Memphis.

UCF coach George O'Leary said he was most proud of how his team responded after a tough home loss to Missouri last week.

"I think we have a team that perseverance-wise, is very resilient," O'Leary said. "You go down 14-0 right away; I think we have a group of good seniors that hung in there."

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ECU
UCF
1st Downs1720
Total Yards362436
Passing298269
Rushing64167
Penalties3-358-68
3rd Down Conversions4-144-10
4th Down Conversions1-21-1
Turnovers11
Possession31:3328:27

Passing Leaders

East CarolinaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Carden23/362988.311
UCFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Bortles15/2126912.810

Rushing Leaders

East CarolinaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Cooper18583.2018
Dobson5244.806
UCFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Bortles66210.3133
Johnson17533.1122

Receiving Leaders

East CarolinaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Hardy511923.8176
Bodenheimer66010.0019
UCFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Hall36822.7027
McDuffie26733.5164

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERECUUCF
TD08:25Shane Carden 7 Yd Run (Warren Harvey Kick) 70
TD06:09Justin Hardy 76 Yd Pass From Shane Carden (Warren Harvey Kick) 140
TD05:55Quincy McDuffie 99 Yd Kickoff Return (Shawn Moffitt Kick) 147
SECOND QUARTERECUUCF
TD14:13Storm Johnson 4 Yd Run (Shawn Moffitt Kick) 1414
FG10:58Shawn Moffitt 22 Yd 1417
FG05:47Shawn Moffitt 23 Yd 1420
FG00:00Warren Harvey 27 Yd 1720
THIRD QUARTERECUUCF
FG10:49Shawn Moffitt 36 Yd 1723
FG08:30Warren Harvey 31 Yd 2023
TD06:36Quincy McDuffie 64 Yd Pass From Blake Bortles (Shawn Moffitt Kick) 2030
FOURTH QUARTERECUUCF
TD13:54Blake Bortles 1 Yd Run (Shawn Moffitt Kick) 2037
FG06:35Shawn Moffitt 49 Yd 2040