West Virginia vs. UCF Trend Finder
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West Virginia vs. UCF Trend Finder
West Virginia grounds UCF down to score 41-28 Big 12 road win
Sat, Oct 28, 2023
ORLANDO, FL (AP) - Garrett Green ran for three touchdowns, West Virginia's defense forced four turnovers, including two interceptions from cornerback Beanie Bishop Jr., to slow down the high-powered UCF offense and the Mountaineers beat the Knights 41-28 on Saturday.
UCF quarterback John Rhys Plumlee threw three picks, bringing his season total up to seven in five games, and then fumbled the ball on a sack by Lee Kpogba late in the third quarter with the Knights trailing by three points.
That set up quarterback Greene's third rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter to restore a 10-point lead for the Mountaineers (5-3, 3-2 Big 12 Conference). CJ Donaldson Jr. added another touchdown in the fourth quarter.
UCF (3-5, 0-5) had its chances but four turnovers were too much to overcome.
UCF's first turnover came with the Knights trailing 10-7 and driving near the West Virginia 30, the second came after recovering a West Virginia fumble facing a three-point deficit and the final two turnovers helped West Virginia blow the game open.
The Mountaineers scored 21 points off UCF's turnovers and Bishop became the first player for West Virginia to record two interceptions in the same game since Kenny Robinson against Texas Tech in September 2018.
The Mountaineers had gained only seven turnovers entering the game. It was the first time West Virginia had forced four turnovers in a game since Nov. 2018 against Oklahoma State.
ON THE GROUND
West Virginia continued to impress with a strong rushing attack that tallied 253 yards.
Greene proved his versatility with 55 yards on 11 caries to go with 156 pass yards. He was joined by West Virginia's cadre of backs to keep the Knights off the field. Donaldson rushed for 121 yards on 17 carries and Jahiem White added 85 yards and a touchdown on nine carries to lead the Mountaineers to the win.
UCF entered the game 11th in the conference giving up 196.0 rush yards per game this season.
The Knights continued to struggle with turnovers. Plumlee's first interception came when Javon Baker could not reel in a deep throw and then kicked the ball up as he fell for Bishop snag.
Ten of the Knights' 14 turnovers this season have occurred on the opponent's side of the field as they were knocking on the door to score. That includes three turnovers inside their opponents' 30.
Plumlee still tallied 274 yards on 25-for-36 passing and three touchdowns to go with 45 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground for the Knights in the game.
BREAKING THE FORTRESS
UCF has had a sterling record at home since the 2016 season, going 41-8 at FBC Mortgage Stadium. However, the Knights' loss to the Mountaineers marked the first time UCF lost consecutive games at home since losing to Maryland and Temple in 2016.
West Virginia hosts BYU in their first in-conference matchup with the Cougars on Saturday.
UCF goes to fellow Big 12 newcomer Cincinnati as the Knights still seek their first Big 12 win.
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