Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Latavius Murray ran for a game-high 155 yards and two touchdowns to help guide the UCF Knights to a commanding 42-17 win over the SMU Mustangs in Conference USA action at Bright House Networks Stadium.
Murray ran the ball 23 times for the Knights (7-2, 5-0 CUSA) as they posted their fifth straight win and remained undefeated in league play. Blake Bortles converted 10-of-15 passes for 110 yards and two scores as well for the hosts.
The Mustangs (4-5, 3-2) were paced by Garrett Gilbert who ran for two touchdowns on 10 carries as the team had a two-game win streak come to an end. Gilbert converted 16-of-29 passes for 133 yards but was sacked three times in the losing effort.
UCF opened the night's scoring with a 21-yard TD pass play between Bortles and Rannell Hall at the 5:39 mark of the first quarter.
SMU countered late in the frame. but responded with only three points on a 32- yard field goal by Chase Hover.
In the second period Murray posted touchdown runs of 23 and 20 yards for the Knights, but in between Gilbert crossed the goal line on a four-yard run of his own in order to keep the visitors within striking distance at the break, 21-10.
The third quarter belonged to UCF as the team rattled off three straight touchdowns to assume control of the meeting. The run began with a 10-yard TD run by Bortles, followed by a 28-yard TD pass play between Murray and Jeff Godfrey, while Bortles combined with Breshad Perriman on an 18-yard scoring pass midway through the fourth quarter to give the hosts a 42-10 edge.
SMU took the next possession and used up more than seven minutes, covering 75 yards on 12 plays, capped by a 12-yard scoring run by Gilbert.
The Mustangs, who entered the week ranked 11th in the conference and 109th in the nation in pass defense with 282.8 ypg allowed, permitted just 155 passing yards to UCF yet still lost by 25 points on the road.