ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Six weeks after the low-point in their season, R.J. Harvey and UCF were riding high after routing No. 15 Oklahoma State.

Harvey rushed for 206 yards and three touchdowns, including a 92-yard exclamation point touchdown in the third quarter following the Knights’ fourth takeaway of the game that put the game firmly out of reach in a 45-3 win over Oklahoma State on Saturday.

“Since the beginning of the season, we knew our potential and knew we were better than our record showed,” Harvey said. “I was happy to see us have our best game today.”

Six weeks earlier, the Knights (5-5, 2-5 Big 12) blew a 28-point lead in a 38-35 loss to Baylor on Sept 30.

“Every game we have to finish,” UCF cornerback Damari Henderson said. “We’ve been preaching all year we have to finish. Every game we haven’t finished. Our coaches told us we have to finish.”

Harvey eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark on the season and has run for more than 100 yards in five straight games - the first Knights back to do that since Kevin Smith in 2007 - and his 92-yard TD was the second-longest run in school history. Harvey had 157 of his yards in the second half.

The Knights had lost five straight games before defeating Cincinnati last week for their first Big 12 win of the season.

The UCF defense was stellar with three interceptions and forcing Oklahoma State's star running back Ollie Gordon to fumble for only the second time this season. Henderson had two interceptions and recovered the fumble in the game.

Oklahoma State (7-3, 5-2) never could get its ground game going and it stalled out the offense as the Cowboys saw their six-game win streak snapped.

“They outcoached us," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. "They made the plays and we didn't. They did a really good job at coaching. They are good with what they do on offense. And then we couldn't capitalize offensively in certain situations and it snowballed into what ended up happening.”

Gordon entered the game leading the nation in rushing yards but tallied only 25 yards on 12 carries for the game. That snapped a streak of six straight 100-yard rushing games for the Cowboys' back. It was Gordon's fewest rushing yards in a game since the Sept. 16 loss to South Alabama.

Without that, Oklahoma State's offense sputtered to get going and quickly found itself down. Coming off its first Big 12 win, UCF hit the gas from the start of the game and never let up.

“We chase high execution, hitting all cylinders,” Plumlee said. “That’s what we chase. It’s really really exciting when we can display how good we can be. It’s really special to me because it feels like all cylinders were hitting tonight. That’s what we’ve been wanting to display.”

Quarterback John Rhys Plumlee threw for 299 passing yards and three touchdowns, including a 75-yard throw to Kobe Hudson in the second quarter to make it a 24-0 lead. Hudson caught all three of Plumlee's touchdown throws.

This was UCF’s day to be on top.

“During the losing streak, we just stayed close,” Harvey said. “Nobody got down. We knew our potential. We just need to execute each play and not turn the ball over.”


Oklahoma State had a fumble and an interception in the first quarter to set the table for UCF's lead. But things only got worse when it started raining heavily early in the second quarter.

The Cowboys struggled with snaps on several occasions during the second quarter as the Knights built their lead. Beyond that, Gundy said the weather made it difficult to throw the ball and get the ball out to the perimeter to try to stretch the defense and get UCF to stop loading up against the run.

UCF outgained Oklahoma State 133-29 in the quarter, expanding the score by 10 points to 24-0 at the half.

The rain slowed down before halftime and stopped before the start of the second half.


UCF’s win over No. 15 Oklahoma State represented the highest-ranked regular season win for the Knights since 2009 when they defeated then-No. 13 Houston at home. The win was also Gus Malzahn's 100th career victory as a coach.


Oklahoma State is on the road again next week against another Big 12 newcomer in Houston.

UCF hits the road next week to face Texas Tech in the first-ever matchup between the two schools.


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