Quarterback McKenzie Milton vaulted into the end zone with the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter as No. 10 Central Florida ran the nation’s longest active win streak to 19 games with a 31-30 comeback win over host Memphis.
Memphis had no timeouts on its last drive. The Tigers got a short completion to UCF’s 31-yard line but ran out of time and couldn’t try a field goal.
Milton passed for 296 yards and one touchdown for the Knights (6-0, 3-0 American Athletic Conference).
UCF also was led by running back Taj McGowan, who ran for two touchdowns, including a 71-yarder; and wide receiver Gabriel Davis, who caught a 75-yard touchdown. Davis finished with six catches for 128 yards.
Memphis (4-3, 1-3) was powered by running back Darrell Henderson, who ran 31 times for 199 yards and one touchdown.
The game was a rematch of the 2017 conference championship, which was won by UCF, 62-55, in double overtime.
On Saturday, Memphis scored all six times it got the ball in the first half, racing to a 30-14 lead with 2:04 left in the first half. Riley Patterson drilled three field goals, quarterback Brady White scored his first career running touchdown, and Henderson (25 yards) and Tony Pollard (19) also had TD runs.
But UCF closed the first half on Matthew Wright’s 44-yard field goal as time expired. Wright missed his first try, but Memphis had called a timeout in an attempt to “ice” him. As it turned out, those were three important points.
With less than three minutes left in the third quarter, UCF went for it on fourth-and-1 from its own 29. McGowan, behind some pancake blocks, ran off right tackle for a 71-yard TD, closing its deficit to 30-24.
UCF took a 31-30 lead with 12:14 left in the fourth quarter as Milton scored on a 7-yard run, getting the ball over the goal line just as he was hit by two defenders. Milton nearly landed on his helmet after the hard collision but remained in the game.
With 6:44 left in the game, Henderson ran 32 yards for what would have been the go-head touchdown. But the run was negated by a holding penalty.
—Field Level Media