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MEMP
UCF

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Mack shines, No. 7 UCF beats Memphis 56-41 for AAC title

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Unbeaten UCF updated its sparkling resume with an impressive come-from-behind victory over Memphis in the American Athletic Conference title game.

Now the seventh-ranked Knights (12-0, No. 8 CFP), who proclaimed themselves national champions last January after finishing as the only undefeated team in the FBS, will see if repeating as AAC champs and having the nation's-longest winning streak are good enough to get them into the College Football Playoff.

`There's been a national conversation for 11 months since UCF won the Peach Bowl and claimed a championship,'' athletic director Danny White said after Saturday's 56-41 victory over Memphis.

. Our football team has now won 25 straight games. They deserve to be in this playoff, and I hope that's a decision that's made (Sunday),'' White added. ''If that does not occur, I think that's another pretty glaring example a four-team playoff is not adequate for the postseason.''

Darriel Mack Jr. shrugged off two early turnovers to rush for four second-half touchdowns and rally the Knights past the Tigers (8-5) for the fourth time in two seasons.

With the red-shirt freshman filling in for injured quarterback McKenzie Milton, UCF amassed 698 yards total offense and tightened defensively after shaky start to limit Memphis to three points after halftime.

Mack completed 19 of 27 passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. He began the Knights' comeback from a 17-point halftime deficit with a 54-yard TD pass to Otis Anderson and finished the Tigers off with scoring runs of 2, 2, and 5 yards in the fourth quarter.

''Everybody has confidence in (Mack). You saw that tonight,'' UCF coach Josh Heupel said. ''He has a lot of confidence in himself, too.''

Greg McCrae rushed for 206 yards and one TD for the Knights, who beat the Tigers 62-55 in the 2017 AAC title game and rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit to win 31-30 at Memphis during the regular season.

This time, UCF trailed 38-21 at halftime before scoring touchdowns on five straight possessions in the second half.

''Our locker room was extremely calm at halftime. There was a great belief because this was a situation we've already been in with Memphis the first time around. I don't think anyone blinked an eye.''

Darrell Henderson scored on runs of 62, 12 and 82 yards and also throw a 4-yard TD pass to help Memphis (8-5) build its big halftime lead.

But the nation's second-leading rusher only gained 3 yards on six carries in the second half, finishing with 210 yards on 16 carries.

''This was a learning experience for us,'' Henderson said.

''"It was a hard fought matchup between two really good football teams. They made more plays than we did in the second half,'' Memphis coach Mike Norvell said. ''I'm proud of our football team and proud of the way these guys competed this season to help us get to the game. Obviously we're disappointed in the outcome. Whenever you come up short it hurts everybody.''

Mack lost two first-quarter fumbles, setting up Henderson's second touchdown and a field goal. The young quarterback making his second start of the year also fumbled into the end zone from inside the Memphis 1, however teammate Michael Colubiale bailed him out by recovering for a UCF touchdown in the second quarter.

Milton was injured at South Florida in the Knights' regular- season finale. He was released from a Tampa hospital and returned home to Orlando, where he watched Saturday night's game on television with his parents.

''I just got off the phone with him before I came in here,'' Mack said during a postgame news conference. ''He told me he loved me and stuff like that. We'll have a longer conversation when I get out of here and things die down.''

STREAK CONTINUES

UCF has beaten Memphis 13 consecutive times since losing the initial meeting between the teams in 1990.

THE TAKEAWAY

Memphis: The Tigers scored on their first five possessions to build a 31-14 lead but once again couldn't to finish the job against the Knights, who've beaten them four times in two seasons. Brady White was effective throwing the ball until UCF finally stopped Henderson and Patrick Taylor, who scored on a 70-yard run and finished with 118 rushing, from running wild. White was 17 of 29 for 178 yards and one interception.

UCF: The defense's inability to stop the run set the tone early, and Mack's early mistakes dug the Knights into an even deeper hole. Despite the early turnovers, Mack remained poised and the Knights finally got into a rhythm offensively in the third quarter.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Despite moving up one spot in the latest CFP rankings to No. 8, the Knights remain a long shot to leapfrog teams ahead of them to get into the playoff. A New Year's Six bowl bid is an almost certainty, though.

''Anyone who has been involved in college football should understand how difficult it is to do what these individuals have done over the last 24 months,'' said Heupel, referring to UCF's 25-game winning streak.

''Whoever is on the playoff committee, they aren't watching enough football if they don't respect what we just did,'' Dredrick Snelson, one of two UCF players with 100-plus yards receiving said. ''They should see the adversity we overcame and watch a team that plays with heart. ... We can play with anybody. They just need to give us a chance.''

UP NEXT

Memphis: Tigers won four of last five games and await bowl invitation.

UCF: A second straight New Year's Six bowl appearance is likely.

---

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 2:29
11-M.Wright extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
41
56
Touchdown 2:33
8-D.Mack runs 5 yards for a touchdown.
8
plays
82
yds
02:40
pos
41
55
Point After TD 6:37
11-M.Wright extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
41
49
Touchdown 6:42
8-D.Mack runs 2 yards for a touchdown.
10
plays
81
yds
02:49
pos
41
48
Point After TD 14:28
11-M.Wright extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
41
42
Touchdown 14:33
8-D.Mack runs 2 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
65
yds
01:46
pos
41
41
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 2:23
36-R.Patterson 19 yards Field Goal is Good.
12
plays
68
yds
04:32
pos
41
35
Point After TD 6:55
11-M.Wright extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
38
35
Touchdown 6:59
8-D.Mack runs 4 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
51
yds
03:38
pos
38
34
Point After TD 12:21
11-M.Wright extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
38
28
Touchdown 12:44
8-D.Mack complete to 2-O.Anderson. 2-O.Anderson runs 54 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
80
yds
00:00
pos
38
27
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 0:21
36-R.Patterson extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
38
21
Touchdown 0:25
8-D.Henderson complete to 5-S.Dykes. 5-S.Dykes runs 4 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
27
yds
02:16
pos
37
21
Point After TD 2:41
11-M.Wright extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
31
21
Touchdown 2:46
8-D.Mack complete to 88-J.Hescock. 88-J.Hescock runs 4 yards for a touchdown.
4
plays
94
yds
01:07
pos
31
20
Point After TD 11:24
36-R.Patterson extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
31
14
Touchdown 11:45
8-D.Henderson runs 82 yards for a touchdown.
3
plays
65
yds
00:17
pos
30
14
Point After TD 12:02
11-M.Wright extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
24
14
Touchdown 12:02
8-D.Mack to MEM End Zone FUMBLES (41-S.Blake). 86-M.Colubiale runs no gain for a touchdown
6
plays
22
yds
1:31
pos
24
13
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 1:41
36-R.Patterson 36 yards Field Goal is Good.
11
plays
57
yds
04:46
pos
24
7
Point After TD 8:22
36-R.Patterson extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
21
7
Touchdown 8:32
6-P.Taylor runs 70 yards for a touchdown.
5
plays
70
yds
01:16
pos
20
7
Point After TD 9:48
11-M.Wright extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
14
7
Touchdown 9:52
30-G.McCrae runs 14 yards for a touchdown.
8
plays
65
yds
02:03
pos
14
6
Point After TD 11:55
36-R.Patterson extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
14
0
Touchdown 11:55
8-D.Henderson runs 12 yards for a touchdown.
2
plays
27
yds
00:05
pos
13
0
Point After TD 13:55
36-R.Patterson extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
0
Touchdown 13:55
8-D.Henderson runs 62 yards for a touchdown.
6
plays
70
yds
01:05
pos
6
0
Team Stats
1st Downs 23 34
Rushing 14 18
Passing 9 13
Penalty 0 3
3rd Down Conv 6-15 9-13
4th Down Conv 0-1 1-2
Total Net Yards 583 695
Total Plays 75 90
Avg Gain 7.8 7.7
Net Yards Rushing 401 350
Rush Attempts 45 62
Avg Rush Yards 8.9 5.6
Net Yards Passing 182 345
Comp. - Att. 18-30 19-28
Yards Per Pass 6.1 12.3
Sacked - Yards Lost 0-0 1-3
Penalties - Yards 10-79 5-44
Touchdowns 5 9
Rushing TDs 4 7
Passing TDs 1 2
Other 0 0
Turnovers 1 3
Fumbles - Lost 0-0 4-3
Int. Thrown 1 0
Punts - Avg 5-46.4 1-45.0
Return Yards 152 105
Punts - Returns 0-0 2-42
Kickoffs - Returns 7-152 3-63
Int. - Returns 0-0 1-0
Kicking 7/8 8/9
Extra Points 5/5 8/8
Field Goals 2/3 0/1
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Memphis 8-5 24143041
8 UCF 12-0 714142156
182 PASS YDS 345
401 RUSH YDS 350
583 TOTAL YDS 695
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
B. White 3 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
58.6% 178 0 1 103.3
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
63.3% 3125 25 8 153.4
B. White 17/29 178 0 1
D. Henderson 8 RB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
100% 4 1 0 463.6
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
50% 4 1 0 231.8
D. Henderson 1/1 4 1 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
D. Henderson 8 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
16 210 3
SEASON ATT YDS TD
214 1909 22
D. Henderson 16 210 3 82
P. Taylor Jr. 6 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
15 118 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
178 1012 15
P. Taylor Jr. 15 118 1 70
T. Pollard 1 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
6 45 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
61 443 5
T. Pollard 6 45 0 21
B. White 3 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
8 28 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
47 -31 1
B. White 8 28 0 11
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
J. Magnifico 86 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 54 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
19 314 5
J. Magnifico 2 54 0 41
D. Coxie 10 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 42 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
66 1104 7
D. Coxie 3 42 0 15
S. Dykes 5 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 29 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
13 196 2
S. Dykes 3 29 1 19
P. Taylor Jr. 6 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 23 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
16 196 1
P. Taylor Jr. 4 23 0 15
M. Slade 81 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 19 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
12 116 1
M. Slade 2 19 0 15
D. Henderson 8 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 9 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
19 295 3
D. Henderson 2 9 0 6
T. Pollard 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 6 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
39 458 3
T. Pollard 2 6 0 4
P. Williams 9 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
30 287 2
P. Williams 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
T. Carter 2 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
11-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
11-0 2 0.0
T. Carter 11-0 0.0 0
C. Akins 7 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
9-5 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-5 0 0.0
C. Akins 9-5 0.0 0
S. Blake Jr. 41 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
8-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-0 0 0.0
S. Blake Jr. 8-0 0.0 0
J. Russell 23 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-2 0 0.0
J. Russell 7-2 0.0 0
T. Hart 35 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-2 0 0.0
T. Hart 6-2 0.0 0
J. Perry 4 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
J. Perry 5-0 0.0 0
J. Dorceus 94 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
J. Dorceus 4-0 0.0 0
T. Windham 24 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 2 0.0
T. Windham 4-0 0.0 0
A. Hall 25 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
A. Hall 4-1 0.0 0
B. Huff 55 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
B. Huff 3-0 0.0 0
J. Wilson 38 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
J. Wilson 2-0 0.0 0
T. Lindsey 22 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 0.0
T. Lindsey 2-2 0.0 0
J. Dillon 34 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 0.0
J. Dillon 2-2 0.0 0
O. Goodson 1 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 1.0
O. Goodson 2-0 1.0 0
E. Cooper 97 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-2 0 0.0
E. Cooper 1-2 0.0 0
Kh. Johnson 96 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.0
Kh. Johnson 0-2 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
R. Patterson 36 K
IN-GAME FG XP
2/3 5/5
SEASON FG XP
15/19 72/75
R. Patterson 2/3 36 5/5 11
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
A. Williams 48 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
5 46.4 3
SEASON NO AVG IN20
50 42.9 3
A. Williams 5 46.4 3 58
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
T. Pollard 1 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
7 21.7 31 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
21 21.8 31 0
T. Pollard 7 21.7 31 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
D. Mack Jr. 8 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
70.4% 348 2 0 203.1
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
57.1% 522 2 0 129.2
D. Mack Jr. 19/27 348 2 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
G. McCrae 30 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
24 206 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
123 1101 9
G. McCrae 24 206 1 50
A. Killins Jr. 9 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
11 60 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
144 698 4
A. Killins Jr. 11 60 0 13
D. Mack Jr. 8 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
17 53 4
SEASON ATT YDS TD
57 334 6
D. Mack Jr. 17 53 4 11
O. Anderson 2 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
5 16 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
48 252 4
O. Anderson 5 16 0 6
T. McGowan 4 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 7 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
69 464 7
T. McGowan 2 7 0 5
M. Colubiale 86 TE
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 6 2
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 6 2
M. Colubiale 1 6 2 6
D. Snelson 5 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 4 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 4 0
D. Snelson 1 4 0 4
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
D. Snelson 5 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 120 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
41 664 5
D. Snelson 4 120 0 48
G. Davis 13 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
6 101 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
50 756 6
G. Davis 6 101 0 44
O. Anderson 2 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 54 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
16 230 3
O. Anderson 1 54 1 54
T. Nixon 16 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 32 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
40 562 4
T. Nixon 3 32 0 14
G. McCrae 30 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 30 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
7 114 1
G. McCrae 3 30 0 17
Ma. Williams 17 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 7 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
18 234 1
Ma. Williams 1 7 0 7
J. Hescock 88 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 4 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 13 1
J. Hescock 1 4 1 4
J. Harris 87 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
J. Harris 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
N. Evans 44 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
8-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-0 0 0.0
N. Evans 8-0 0.0 0
K. Gibson 25 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
8-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-3 1 0.0
K. Gibson 8-3 0.0 0
R. Causey 21 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-0 0 1.0
R. Causey 7-0 1.0 0
T. Hill 9 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.0
T. Hill 6-1 0.0 0
J. Connors 91 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.5
J. Connors 5-1 0.5 0
E. Gilyard 40 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
E. Gilyard 3-1 0.0 0
T. Davis 10 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.5
T. Davis 3-1 0.5 0
R. Grant 27 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 6 0.0
R. Grant 3-1 0.0 1
B. Hayes 6 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
B. Hayes 2-0 0.0 0
B. Moore 20 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
B. Moore 2-1 0.0 0
Ke. Johnson 29 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
Ke. Johnson 2-0 0.0 0
N. Clarke 14 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 2 0.0
N. Clarke 1-0 0.0 0
A. Wooten 54 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-3 0 0.0
A. Wooten 1-3 0.0 0
A. Cochran 43 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
A. Cochran 1-0 0.0 0
R. Charlton 58 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
R. Charlton 0-1 0.0 0
P. Jasinski 56 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 1 0.0
P. Jasinski 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
M. Wright 11 K
IN-GAME FG XP
0/0 8/8
SEASON FG XP
11/13 71/71
M. Wright 0/0 0 8/8 8
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
M. Loudermilk 48 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
1 45.0 0
SEASON NO AVG IN20
41 42.6 0
M. Loudermilk 1 45.0 0 45
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
A. Killins Jr. 9 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 17.0 22 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
14 21.1 22 0
A. Killins Jr. 2 17.0 22 0
B. Thompson 24 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 29.0 29 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
2 28.0 29 0
B. Thompson 1 29.0 29 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
O. Anderson 2 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 21.0 42 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
15 11.9 42 0
O. Anderson 2 21.0 42 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 UCF 35 1:05 6 77 TD
12:00 UCF 27 0:05 2 27 TD
9:48 UCF 35 1:16 5 76 TD
6:27 MEMP 49 4:46 11 32 FG
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:02 UCF 35 0:17 3 -1 TD
10:31 MEMP 37 1:03 3 6 Punt
7:13 MEMP 20 2:34 6 38 Punt
2:41 UCF 35 2:16 9 78 TD
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:21 UCF 35 1:17 5 4 Punt
6:55 UCF 35 4:32 12 78 FG
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:28 UCF 35 4:49 12 37 FG Miss
6:37 UCF 35 0:45 4 -2 Punt
2:29 UCF 35 1:44 11 40 INT
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:55 MEMP 35 1:25 5 -8 Fumble
11:55 MEMP 35 2:03 8 65 TD
8:22 MEMP 35 1:22 7 24 Fumble
1:35 MEMP 35 1:25 15 78
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:45 MEMP 35 1:07 4 -17 Punt
9:23 UCF 6 1:49 9 74 Downs
3:53 UCF 6 1:07 4 94 TD
0:21 MEMP 35 0:14 6 30 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
0:02 MEMP 35 0:00 9 79 TD
10:37 MEMP 45 3:38 9 44 TD
2:17 MEMP 35 1:46 9 65 TD
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
9:31 UCF 29 2:49 10 71 TD
5:13 UCF 18 2:40 8 82 TD
0:40 UCF 20 0:00 1 -2