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PROVO -- BYU hosted the UCF Knights and the Cougars hoped to forget all about their pitiful showing last week against arch rival Utah. BYU's defense came out and gave up yards right away and looked like they didn't really care.
"Good to see the BYU defense is fired up to start this game...not," tweeted Kevin Graham. While I was thrown off by the 90's sarcasm, Graham had a point and he wasn't the only one to notice. "UCF is making this look way too easy!" tweeted @benbags.
The Y's defense stopped the Knights in the red zone however, and held them to a field goal. Heaps and the offense then took the field and with offensive coordinator Brandon Doman upstairs for the first time, and they finally looked like they found their stride. But like in weeks past, they hit the "blue zone" and stalled.
"Cougar drive stalls at the 20 with a 1-yard run, two incomplete passes. We've seen that before. Sorensen's 37-yard FG makes it 3-3," tweeted Deseret News' Jay Drew.
UCF came out and started moving the ball, but BYU's D stepped up and got another stop when it counted and now it was the offense's turn to produce. Well, Heaps made a completion, but it was to a Knights DB and then UCF's talented QB Godfrey quickly turned that mistake into a score.
"Same story, BYU offense can't score, turns the ball over & puts the defense in a bad spot," tweeted ESPN 700's Jason Shepherd. "UCF takes advantage & scores on QB keeper 10-3 UCF."
BYU got it back and Doman turned to the run and they started moving. They decided to go for it on fourth and three, and then Doman made what may be the worst call of the season so far. He had Riley Nelson come in and run a wildcat and then have him pass it. Needless to say, the back-up QB who had not thrown a ball all game threw an incompletion.
"Nobody expected Riley Nelson to throw on 4th, including Riley Nelson," tweeted KSL NewsRadio's Andrew Adams.
The Cougars went into the half down 10 -3 and it was an ugly half of football, and the crowd let them know it. "BYU offense booed off the field after another rough half of football," tweeted Sports Beat reporter Jeremiah Jensen.
BYU came out of the half with a chip on their shoulder and the offense came up with a TD to tie it up, but then UCF quickly responded and went up 17 - 10. Then BYU did something they have not done in a long time; they returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Cody Hoffman followed his blockers and took it back over 90 yards to tie the game up.
"1st time BYU has returned a kickoff for a TD since 98 @ Hawaii I believe," tweeted JanandGunther.
The defense then seemed to forget how to tackle and let UCF gain yard after yard after yard.
"Horrible tackling on this drive. Another 2nd half lapse by BYU defense right now," tweeted @benbags.
"BYU defense of old all of a sudden on the field... missed tackles galore. Not what Cougars needed ugh," wrote ksl.com news editor Graydon Johns.
Jason Shepherd got in on the twitter attack on BYU tackling as well. "BYU defense allowing a backup to carve them up and can't tackle at all."
And Kevin Graham chimed in as well. "Someone needs to remind the BYU defense that it's very important to TACKLE."
The Cougars did finally figure it out and they stopped the Knights. But in return the Knights stopped the Cougars O and forced a punt. And that punt would be the game changer.
UCF's return man muffed the punt and BYU recovered and three straight Kariya run plays BYU was in the end zone and again and went up 24 -17.
UCF wasn't about to give up and a couple of big plays later they were back in the red zone, but the Cougars D wouldn't let the Knights in the end zone. Kyle Van Noy tipped Godfrey's pass right into corner back Joe Sampson's hands.
The offense was forced to punt, but the BYU D made sure to put the game away with time ticking away.
After a sack and forced fumble the time was gone and the Cougars got the bitter taste of defeat out of their mouths. UCF made some major mistakes, but BYU also made some great plays tow in what was very possibly a must- win game.
"Oof! Some big time flubs in 2nd half have really cost UCF," tweeted ESPN College Football. "Though the BYU defense had a lot to do with that too. Coogs win 24-17."