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Central Florida 41, Rutgers 17

The SportsXchange

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 336 yards and a touchdown and running back Storm Johnson rushed for two scores to lead Central Florida to an easy 41-17 victory over Rutgers on Thursday.

Bortles completed 21 of 30 passes and had five dropped, including two in the endzone, as he marched UCF up-and-down the field at will. Johnson gained 75 yards on 16 carries, scoring on runs of 12 and one yard.

Shawn Moffitt kicked field goals of 32 and 42 yards for UCF (9-1, 6-0), which leads Louisville and Cincinnati by a game in the American Athletic Conference. UCF has two conference games, against South Florida (2-7, 2-3) and SMU (4-5, 3-2) still to play.

UCF dominated the game from start to finish, particularly on offense where it rolled up a 455-221 edge in yardage and almost a 17-minute advantage in time of possession. UCF punted only once in each half and had four scoring drives of 69 yards or more.

Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova was just 11 of 34 for 107 yards. He was sacked three times. Michael Burton was Rutgers' leading rusher, getting 38 yards on his one carry, a fake punt play that led to a touchdown.

UCF scored touchdowns on its first four possessions of the game, meeting little resistance from the Rutgers defense along the way.

By halftime, the Knights had a 277-104 advantage in total offense and nearly double Rutgers' time of possession. But two critical mistakes kept the game from being a runaway at that point.

UCF allowed Rutgers to convert two fourth-down opportunities that led to one touchdown and then gave up a blocked punt with 15 seconds left in the half that Rutgers fell on in the end zone to cut its deficit to 28-14.

Burton got the first fourth-down conversion, turning a fake punt on fourth-and-10 into a 38-yard run that gave Rutgers a first down at UCF's 21-yard line. Rutgers had a fourth-and-goal at the UCF 1 when running back Paul James picked his way through the left side for a touchdown.

Just before halftime, freshman cornerback Anthony Cioffi blocked a punt that careened 24 yards behind UCF punter Caleb Houson, landing in the end zone, where Rutgers' receiver Andre Patton fell on it to make it 28-14.

Bortles started UCF's scoring, scrambling away from pressure to find wide receiver Breshad Perriman in the corner of the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown pass. Bortles was 3 of 3 for 48 yards on the 69-yard drive.

Bortles completed three more passes on UCF's next possession to put his team at the Rutgers 12. Johnson rammed it in from there, breaking three tackles on a 12-yard burst through the middle.

UCF went 86 yards on 14 plays on its third possession, eating up 7:12 on the clock. Freshman running back William Stanback provided the highlight when he barreled over Cioffi on a flare pass that Stanback turned into a 20-yard gain. Four plays later, Johnson scored from 1 yard.

Bortles added the Knights' fourth touchdown on a 7-yard scramble to end an 11-play, 79-yard drive. UCF led 28-7 at that point.

NOTES: Rutgers blocked 35 kicks since 2009, the most in the nation. ... Rutgers made its 13th appearance on ESPN's Thursday night football. It was UCF's first time on Thursday night since a 2005 game against South Carolina. ... In his last two games, UCF tailback Storm Johnson has a career-best 127 yards rushing against Houston and a career-high 73-yard run against Temple.
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