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Plumlee, UCF top Tulane 38-31, takes first place in AAC

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — John Rhys Plumlee rushed for 308 yards and three touchdowns, and No. 22 UCF took first place in the American Athletic Conference in a 38-31 win over No. 16 Tulane on Saturday.

Plumlee was returning from a concussion on October 29 against Cincinnati, rushing for 176 yards and two TDs. He also passed for 132 yards and scored as UCF (8-2, 5-1) exceeded 400 yards on offense for the eighth time this season.

Plumlee’s rushing total was his highest at UCF but just below his career high of 212 for Mississippi against LSU in 2019.

Tulane (8-2, 5-1) moved left on a touchdown at 11:39 when Michael Pratt hit Reggie Brown in the back of the endzone to cap a drive that included Pratt’s fourth and sixth conversions on a pass Lawrence was carried keys.

But the Knights responded with a 16-play, 75-yard scoring drive that consumed 8:07 and was sustained by a fourth-down pass interference penalty on Tulane’s Jarius Monroe as he ran back Isaiah Bowser’s pass , which was intended for Plumlee on the sidelines. Bowser wrapped it up with his second short touchdown run of the game to make it 38-24 with 3:32 left.

Tulane drove for a final score on Pratt’s 6-yard pass to Shae Wyatt with a 1:46 left, but the Green Wave’s onside kick was recovered by UCF, who didn’t push the ball back until the final seconds.

Pratt finished 23 of 39 for 236 yards and three TDs. Tulane’s Jha-Quan Jackson caught five passes for 95 yards.

Plumlee gave UCF a 10-0 lead when he held the ball down center, sliced ​​out to his right and passed all pursuers for a 67-yard touchdown.

Tulane responded with Pratt’s 1-yard fade to Duece Watts set up by Tyjae Spears’ 70-yard run.

UCF restored their 10-point lead as Bowser went straight to fourth and 1st, faking left and darting to the right for an easy result, his 12th of the season.

The Knights threatened to head straight back into the endzone after real freshman linebacker Kam Moore, making his first start in place of injured defensive back captain Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste, forced a fumble in the Tulane backfield, which was restored by KD McDaniels on the Tulane 8 and returned to the 4. But UCF got away with no points after Plumlee’s fourth down pass was crushed by linebacker Nick Anderson.

But after Tulane’s offense faltered, Plumlee drove the Knights 85 yards in 13 games to set up his 8-yard scoring pass to Alabama’s Javon Baker, who had five catches for 54 yards.

A series of errors from the UCF defense allowed Tulane to pull to 24-14 late in the first half, starting with a third pass interference.

UCF responded with a sack and strip from Jason Johnson, but the ball splattered out of Johnson’s grip and Tulane recovered. Shortly after, Tulane’s field goal attempt missed, but UCF’s Ja’Cari Henderson flattened green-wave kicker Valentino Ambrosio and drew a rough flag.

Three games later, Pratt faced a goalie.

THE TAKE AWAY

UCF: Bowser has scored in eight out of 10 games this season thanks to his reliability in short-range situations. All 13 of his TDs came from inside the 4-yard line. The Knights rushed to a season-high 336 — the third time they have rushed for more than 300 yards this season.

Tulane: The Green Wave has been hurt by mistakes, not to mention some bad luck. There were a handful of dropped passes, including one in the end zone in third place by Dea Dea McDougle. Pratt missed some open receivers and Tulane turned the ball around when a UCF punt hit Green Wave’s Kiland Harrison in the back as he tried to block for the sideline return. It was also the first game in which Tulane rushed for more than 200 yards this season.

NEXT

UCF: Hosts the Navy on November 19th.

Tulane: hosts SMU on Thursday evenings.

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