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Updated: Saturday November 22, 2008 6:03 PM




  1 2 3 4  
  UCF 14   28 
  MEMPHIS  21 

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Rob Calabrese threw two touchdown passes and Latavius Murray 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 half.

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.

Memphis quarterback Arkelon Hall , 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 Emery Allen . On the next play, Steven Black 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.

Bruce Miller blocked a Memphis punt, the Knights recovering at the Tiger 30. Brynn Harvey gained 26 on the first play, and UCF eventually scored on a 4-yard pass from Calabrese to fullback Ricky Kay .

On the ensuing drive, Hall and Memphis running back Charlie Jones failed to connect on a handoff, and Knights linebacker Derrick Hallman 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 Duke Calhoun for a 54-yard touchdown for the Tigers? only score of the half.

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