A pair of fortuitous special teams plays kept Rutgers in the game through halftime, but UCF otherwise dominated the Scarlet Knights in every phase of a 41-17 win on Thursday night. The victory keeps Central Florida undefeated in conference play and gives the Knights a chance to clinch the conference championship next Friday against USF.
Rutgers was able to muster just 221 yards of total offense all night, and its two touchdowns involved equal parts luck and skill. The first came after a fake put on 4th-and-10 that turned into a 38-yard gain for Rutgers and put the Scarlet Knights deep in UCF territory. The second came when Anthony Cioffi blocked UCF's only punt of the first half and the ball ricocheted all the way into the end zone, where Rutgers fell on it to cut UCF's lead to 28-14 just before halftime.
But that was the closest that the Scarlet Knights would get to posing a serious threat to UCF. Rutgers went three-and-out on its opening possession of the second half, and it would not get back on the board until Kyle Federico nailed a meaningless 35-yard field goal in the game's final minute.
Box Score Hero: Blake Bortles had a brilliant night under center for UCF. The Knights'
senior junior quarterback completed 21-of-30 pass attempts for 335 yards and a touchdown. Bortles also extended plays with his legs, picking up 32 yards on the ground, including a seven-yard touchdown scamper in the second quarter.
Rankings Ramifications: UCF came into the week ranked 18th in the BCS standings. Voters have been reluctant to move the Knights ahead in the polls even though they keep winning. They may have an opportunity to move up a few spots this week with five one- or two-loss teams ahead of them playing ranked opponents.
But Did They Cover? UCF was favored to win by 20, a feat that it accomplished without much difficulty.
For More On This Game: For more on Scarlet Knights football, visit Rutgers community On The Banks.
Next Week's Schedule: UCF welcomes USF to Bright House Networks Stadium for a Friday night AAC matchup. Rutgers travels to Hartford, Conn. to take on the UConn Huskies.