Time is a flat circle that begins and ends with Tulsa beating UCF. The Golden Hurricanes upset the No. 11 Knights 31-26 on Saturday, ending UCF's 21-game home winning streak, the second-longest active streak in the FBS entering the game.
UCF's last loss at home came in 2016. It was a 35-20 loss to Tulsa. The Knights finished 6-7 during that season, Scott Frost's first year in Orlando. The next season, UCF went 13-0 and decided to claim a national title.
Tulsa, which beat UCF 34-31 in Oklahoma last season, has now won four in a row against its AAC rivals.
It was quite a turnaround from Tulsa's season opener. Last we saw the Hurricane, they were losing to Oklahoma State 16-7 in a snoozer. They found a bit more success on offense Saturday night, putting up 438 yards against UCF while averaging 6.0 yards per play. Quarterback Zach Smith completed 17 of 29 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns.
UCF had a 16-0 lead just over halfway through the first quarter, but Tulsa was able to battle back to make it 23-12 at halftime. In the second half, Tulsa held UCF to only three points despite giving up 208 yards. The reason? UCF constantly shot itself in the foot, committing numerous penalties and turning the ball over twice in the second half thanks to a couple of fumbles.
UCF finished the night with 18 penalties for 124 yards, 13 of which came in the second half. Those killed drives time after time and gave Tulsa plenty of chances to finish the comeback. The Hurricane didn't take their first lead of the night until Smith hit Keylon Stokes for a 13-yard touchdown to make it a 31-26 game early in the fourth quarter.
The win is Tulsa's first victory over a team ranked in the AP Top 25 since it beat No. 24 Hawaii in the 2010 Hawaii Bowl. It had lost 19 straight against ranked teams since. UCF, which has spent a lot of time in the AP Top 25 the last four years, was not ranked when the Hurricane beat it last season.