Harvey, Plumlee lead UCF to first Big 12 win, 28-26 over Cincinnati

Central Florida running back RJ Harvey, upper right, celebrates with teammates after scoring during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Cincinnati, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

CINCINNATI (AP) — RJ Harvey rushed for three scores and John Rhys Plumlee ran for another as UCF outlasted Cincinnati 28-26 on Saturday to secure its first win in Big 12 Conference play.

Despite allowing 515 yards of total offense, including 248 yards on the ground, to the Bearcats (2-7, 0-6 Big 12), the Knights (4-5, 1-5) handed their former American Athletic Conference foe their sixth straight loss while snapping their own five-game skid. Both teams are in their first season in the Big 12.

It marked UCF’s first win at Cincinnati since 2017.

Harvey, who finished with 164 yards on 20 carries, scored on a 1-yard run to put the Knights ahead 28-20 with 2:41 left to play. The touchdown capped a nine-play, 75-yard drive.

Emory Jones and the Cincinnati offense answered by taking just 1:14 to march 74 yards. Jones scrambled for a 19-yard gain on second-and-1 and then later linked up with Braden Smith for a 37-yard pass play down to the UCF 6-yard line.

Corey Kiner punched it in to bring the Bearcats within 28-26 with 1:27 remaining. Jones’ pass attempt to Dee Wiggins on the two-point conversion fell incomplete and UCF escaped.


UCF: The two teams entered the day with their all-time series tied 4-4 with Cincinnati owning a slim 231-223 scoring lead. Now, the Knights own the series edge and remain in contention for a bowl game.

Cincinnati: The Bearcats’ rough Big 12 debut season under first-year coach Scott Satterfield continues. Cincinnati will need to wait another week to capture its first conference win. The Bearcats also won’t play in a bowl game for the first time since 2017.


UCF: The Knights return home to host Oklahoma State on Nov. 11. It will mark UCF’s first meeting against the Cowboys.

Cincinnati: The Bearcats head to Houston on Nov. 11 for their first of two straight road games. Cincinnati will face the Cougars, who like UCF and the Bearcats moved from the AAC to the Big 12 in July. Cincinnati is 13-15 all-time against Houston, including a 35-20 win in the 2021 AAC championship game.

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