College Football

Harvey, defense propel Central Florida past Oklahoma State


Central Florida defeated Oklahoma State at home for a Big 12 conference victory. Photo by Debra Edgar

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RJ Harvey set a career-high with 206 rushing yards and three touchdowns while the Central Florida defense forced four turnovers and held the nation’s leading rusher in check as the Knights rolled to a 45-3 rout of No. 15 Oklahoma State at home, Saturday.

Harvey’s career day was highlighted by a 92-yard touchdown run, the second-longest run from scrimmage in program history. It was Harvey’s fifth consecutive 100-yard game. He led a Knights’ offense that piled up 592 total yards. Harvey is just the third player in program history to record consecutive games with three rushing touchdowns.

The Knights improved to 5-5 for the season (2-5 in Big 12 play) and need just one more victory in their final two games to become bowl eligible. The Knights visit Texas Tech on Saturday, Nov. 18 before closing the season on Saturday, Nov. 25, by hosting Houston at FBC Mortgage Stadium.

As dominant as was its offense, Central Florida displayed a smothering defense that limited Oklahoma State’s Ollie Gordon, the nation’s top rusher, to just 25 yards. Demari Henderson paced the Knights defensively with two pass interceptions and a fumble recovery.

“They had the leading rusher in the country and our defense played our best game,” said Knights head coach Gus Malzahn, who notched his 100th career victory.

Knights quarterback John Rhys Plumlee threw for a season-high 299 yards and accounted for four touchdowns. He rushed for one score and threw three touchdown passes, all to receiver Kobe Hudson covering 7, 75 and 14 yards.

Javon Baker led all Knights receivers with a career-high 112 yards on four receptions.

The Knights jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first five minutes of the game and never looked back, rolling to a 24-0 lead at halftime. The 42-point margin of victory is the largest over a ranked opponent in program history.

Oklahoma State, now 7-3 overall and 5-2 in Big 12 play, was coming off an upset win over Oklahoma the previous week.

“I’m real proud of our team. That was the No. 15 team in the country that came in here, probably the hottest team in all of the country,” Malzahn said.

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