With the victory, UCF moved to 6-6 on the year and finished their first season in the Big 12 Conference with a 3-6 record in conference play.
Meanwhile, Houston finished off their season at 4-8 and dropped to 2-7 in Big 12 play in their first season as members of the new conference.
Here are three thoughts on the game and what it means for both teams going forward.
BOOMER’S STRUGGLES CONTINUE
What in the world is going on with Colton Boomer? UCF’s kicker entered the season as one of the top place kickers in the nation and earned some major praise as a potential pro-level kicker. Boomer started off hot in 2023 going 7-7 on his first seven attempts this season but has really struggled in recent weeks on both field goals and extra points.
The change is somewhat out of the blue as Boomer had been one of the most consistent kickers in the nation this year. The sophomore kicker made 85 straight PATs heading into last week’s game with BYU, and after missing his first XP of the season against the Cougars, his struggles settled in.
Boomer had a tough day against Houston going 0-2 on field goal attempts missing kicks from 26 and 42 yards out, while adding a missed extra point as well. The Florida native now boasts a 63.2 make percentage on field goals in 2023 paired with an extra point percentage of 95.8%. While the UCF kicking struggles have shown up and continued over the last few weeks, with just one game remaining, Boomer may have some inconsistencies in the kicking game to address in the offseason.
WHERE IS SAMUEL BROWN?
While Houston’s wide receiver room has been one of the sneakier units in the Big 12 Conference this season, the Cougars weren’t able to get anything out of sophomore receiver Samuel Brown on Saturday. Brown finished the Week 13 matchup with zero catches after averaging five grabs per game this season.
While the team found some production from receivers like Joseph Manjack and Stephon Johnson, the Cougars needed Brown’s big-play ability down the stretch in order to compete with UCF. The lack of explosive plays in Saturday’s outing was a major piece of adversity for Houston against UCF, but credit to the Knights’ defense because they completely halted Houston’s offensive performance.
The Cougars finished the game with less than 300 total yards of total offense and an abysmal 1-9 on third down. Houston now enters the offseason with some serious questions to figure out starting with the future of Dana Holgorsen.
KNIGHTS GO BOWLING
With the win over Houston, UCF reached six wins in 2023 earning bowl-eligibility for the eighth-straight season, which is the longest stretch in program history. Gus Malzahn‘s group was headlined by a career day from senior running back RJ Harvey who continued his hot streak reaching 100 yards on the ground for the sixth time this season.
UCF now will earn a spot in one of the smaller bowl games next week but after not winning their fourth game until Week 9 of the college football season, the turnaround in Orlando is beyond impressive. UCF took home wins in three of their last four games over Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, and Houston, and will now get set for one final game to cap off the 2023 season.