The prohibitive American Athletic Conference favorite now has a loss. No. 11 UCF fell 34-26 at home to Tulsa on Saturday night to drop to 2-1 and fall from the early ranks of the unbeaten in college football.
Tulsa’s go-ahead score came when Keylon Stokes caught a 13-yard TD pass from Zach Smith with 12:56 left to go. After that, UCF’s offense ran a total of 11 plays and punted twice before Tulsa was able to run out the clock.
After Tulsa kicked a field goal to extend the lead to eight with 1:30 to go, UCF got into Tulsa territory but a potential game-tying drive was derailed by penalties and a bad snap and a Hail Mary attempt into the end zone fell incomplete.
The win is the biggest in Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery’s five-plus year tenure with the school and the second-straight win for the team over UCF. Tulsa beat the Knights 34-31 at home in 2019 to give UCF its third loss of the season.
Prior to Saturday, UCF had won 21-straight games at home. The last home loss for the Knights came against, you guessed it, Tulsa. That was UCF’s final home game in the 2016 season during a 6-7 campaign in Scott Frost’s first year with the school.
Smith was 17-of-29 passing for 273 yards and three touchdowns and an interception. Tulsa running backs had over 180 rushing yards as the Golden Hurricane ran the ball a total of 43 times against UCF’s defense.