MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -
threw two touchdown passes and
rushed for another to help Central Florida beat Memphis 28-21 on Saturday.
The Knights (4-7, 3-4 Conference USA) scored early and then held on as Memphis limited UCF to 42 yards offense in the second
Despite strong defensive play by the Tigers (5-6, 3-4), Memphis was unable to execute offensively in key situations, even
after cutting the lead to a touchdown in the fourth. Memphis turned the ball over on downs at the UCF 44 in the final minute.
, in his first game back after breaking his right thumb Oct. 18 against East Carolina, struggled most of the day, completing
15-of-35 passes for 183 yards.
Memphis got within a touchdown with 8:24 left after benefiting from a pass interference call against defensive back
. On the next play,
took the direct snap at quarterback and went over from 3 yards.
But UCF would not let the Tigers get any closer.
The Memphis defensive effort included 12 tackles for loss in the game.
The Knights, who were coming off a 30-14 victory at Marshall, gained momentum early after a pair of Memphis mistakes.
blocked a Memphis punt, the Knights recovering at the Tiger 30.
gained 26 on the first play, and UCF eventually scored on a 4-yard pass from Calabrese to fullback
On the ensuing drive, Hall and Memphis running back
failed to connect on a handoff, and Knights linebacker
scooped up the bouncing ball and returned it 26 yards for a 14-0 UCF lead.
Memphis would at least cut into the lead when Hall connected with
for a 54-yard touchdown for the Tigers? only score of the half.