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UCF suffers gut-wrenching loss to Temple

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The Temple Owls fell behind by 18 points, but came back to stun the Central Florida Knights, 26-25 Saturday night at Bright House Networks Stadium. An improbable Temple victory does not seem to describe what happened.

UCF ran out to a 25-7 lead in the second quarter and took a 25-14 lead into the halftime locker room. The Owls dominated the second half.

The Knights had the ball five time after halftime. Three of those possessions resulted in three-and-out punts, a missed field goal, and an interception.

Temple slowly got off the mat and got with 25-20 in the third quarter. The fourth quarter is one UCF fans will want to forget.

Things seemed still in control after Caleb Houston’s punt gave Temple the ball at their own 30-yard line with only 31 seconds remaining. Three completions by quarterback Phillip Walker got the ball to the UCF eight-yard line.

With one second left on the clock, Walker found Keith Kirkwood for the game-winning touchdown.

Walker had only 167 yards passing all night. He somehow managed to pile on 70 yards in the final 30 seconds. Jahad Tomas rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown and also caught a 28-yard touchdown pass.

McKenzie Milton passed for 210 yards and two touchdowns for the Knights. Tre’Quan Smith caught three passes for 103 yards and a touchdown.

The devastating loss leaves UCF at 3-3 on the year and 1-1 in the American Conference. Next Saturday they travel to Connecticut to face the Huskies.




Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at

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