Every Thursday throughout the summer, Knight Sports Now has been taking a look at UCF Football’s best game in each of their years competing at the FBS level as part of a Throwback Thursday series. As we hit the final stretch, we’ll be turning back the clock every day leading up to the 2018 season. Today, we continue with 2010.
UCF Football’s Best Game of 2010: 10-6 win vs. Georgia (AutoZone Liberty Bowl)
After finishing above the .500 mark in 2000 and 2001, UCF struggled to string together back-to-back winning seasons for nearly a decade. The Knights turned that trend around in 2010, following their 8-5 2009 season with an 11-3 mark. After a 17-7 win over SMU in the Conference USA Championship Game, UCF had a date with Georgia in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
In a low-scoring affair, the Knights beat the Bulldogs 10-6, earning their first-ever bowl victory. The win was also their first as a BCS-ranked team and it gave them their 11th win, which was a new program record (that lasted until 2013). The fact that the win came against Georgia made it all that much sweeter, especially considering the first meeting between the two programs.
The UCF defense was the story of the game, shutting down an offense that featured freshman All-American quarterback Aaron Murray and two-time first team All-American A.J. Green, who is now a seven-time Pro Bowler for the Cincinnati Bengals. The Knights intercepted Murray twice and held him under 200 passing yards. Green caught eight passes for 77 yards, but was held out of the end zone for just the third time all year.
The big problem for George O’Leary’s team was that the offense was struggling to complement the defense’s impressive effort. At the start of the fourth quarter, UCF trailed 6-3. But on their first drive of the final quarter, the Knights marched down the field and took their first lead on a 10-yard touchdown run by Latavius Murray. From there, the defense never relinquished the lead.
Murray ran for 104 yards and a score on 18 carries, leading an otherwise-stagnant offense. Reggie Weams and Josh Linam came up with interceptions for the Knights, while Bruce Miller tallied 1 1/2 sacks.
The Knights have had a strong run of success since 2010, but their first bowl win will always be a memorable one. The victory in the conference title game was special, but a Liberty Bowl victory over Georgia is more than deserving of our pick for UCF’s best game of the 2010 season. The final minute of the contest can be seen below:
For previous Throwback Thursdays from Knight Sports Now, click here.