The 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational presented by STAT BOX STORIES continues today with the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, which matches up the Ball State Cardinals (9-3, 6-2 MAC) and the UCF Knights (9-4, 7-1 C-USA). Community member Jerimiah Etters from The Gaming Tailgate played as the C-USA runner-up UCF in this showdown of smaller schools in the postseason.
UCF survives late Ball State Onslaught to emerge victorious in Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl
St. Petersburg, F.L. – When a football game is played in a nontraditional venue, it’s almost as though the “football gods” take notice and unleash all manner of strangeness over the course of that game. Case in point: the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl between Ball State and UCF. Each team managed to put 17 points on the board in the first half before the Knights rattled off 24 unanswered points through the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter.
With 3:12 left to play in the game and facing a 24-point deficit, the Cardinals started an improbable comeback with a 43-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion. Less than a minute later, a 67-yard Ball State touchdown pass narrowed the deficit to 9 points after another successful two-point conversion. And only half a minute later, the Cardinals found the end zone again on a 26-yard touchdown pass to narrow the gap to 2 points; this time, however, the Knights successfully defended the two-point try and then recovered the ensuing onside kick to run out the clock.
The game began with an exchange of field goals in the first half before UCF struck on the game’s first touchdown, a 73-yard pass late in the first quarter. Ball State responded with a 5-yard rushing touchdown early in the second quarter before the teams exchanged touchdowns with less than two minutes remaining in the first half to arrive at the 17-17 halftime deadlock.
UCF’s third quarter scoring began with a 6-yard rushing touchdown, followed a little over a minute later by a 25-yard field goal. In the waning moments of the quarter, a 47-yard touchdown pass extended the lead to 17 points; in the early moments of the final quarter, a 2-yard quarterback keeper resulted in UCF’s final points of the game. Luckily for their fanbase—who didn’t have to travel far to be in attendance for this Bowl Game—those 41 points proved to be just enough scoring to keep the Cardinals at bay.
Player of the Game: Ball State QB #10, who completed 9 of 16 pass attempts for 228 yards, 3 touchdowns, and an interception. He led his team back from a significant deficit with all of his scoring throws coming in the fourth quarter.
It was over when… UCF WR #9 recovered the Ball State onside kick attempt with 1:40 remaining in the game. The Knights recovery allowed their offense to run out the clock and preserve a three-point victory.
Game Ball goes to… UCF QB #5, who completed 19 of 25 passing attempts (a 76% completion percentage) for 330 yards, 3 touchdowns, and one pick. He also accounted for 25 yards on the ground, including what proved to be the game-winning touchdown for the Knights.
Stat of the Game: 24 and 22. These were the string of unanswered points for UCF and Ball State respectively in the second half as each team took a turn at seizing the momentum on offense.
Statistical Tidbits: Ball State QB #10 and QB #5 combined to help the Cardinals set a new Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl game record for passing yards by one team in the game; their 435 passing yards beat out the previous record of 401 by USF in the 2008 game. … Ball State QB #10 and UCF QB #5 both tied the record for most touchdown passes in this Bowl Game with 3 apiece, tying the USF quarterback from the 2008 game. … UCF QB #5 set a new individual passing yards record for the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl with a 330 yard performance, surpassing the 294 yards amassed by the Rutgers quarterback in the 2009 game. … UCF HB #28’s 90 rushing yards set a new individual rushing yards record by 7 yards over USF’s running back from the 2008 game. … Ball State amassed 196 yards in kickoff returns. … Each team completed exactly 19 passes. … Ball State WR #9 (200 yards), WR #20 (129 yards), and UCF WR #9 (148 yards) all surpassed the previous individual game high of 99 receiving yards set by Rutgers wide receiver in the 2009 game.