Bortles shines for UCF, MAC's Ball State struggles in Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl

FRED GOODALL AP Sports Writer Published:

Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Blake Bortles threw for three touchdowns and ran for a fourth to lead Central Florida to a 38-17 rout of Ball State in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl on Friday night.

Bortles threw first-half TD passes of 7 and 5 yards to Latavius Murray, who also scored on a 2-yard run to help the Knights (10-4) win their final game as a member of Conference USA.

Ball State (9-4) was hoping to finish with at least 10 wins for the third time in school history, however its high-powered offense sputtered while being held to a season-low point total.

Keith Wenning threw a 7-yard TD pass to Willie Snead early in the second quarter, but the Cardinals didn't get into end zone again until Snead scored on a 16-yard reception with 5 minutes remaining.

The Mid-American Conference is now 0-for-2 in its bowl games after one of the best regular seasons in conference history, including the resurgence of the Kent State football team.

Ball State Bowl History

n Jan. 6, 2009 GMAC Bowl--Tulsa 45, Ball State 13

n Jan. 5, 2008 International Bowl--Rutgers 52, Ball State 30

n Dec. 19, 1996 Las Vegas Bowl--Nevada 18, Ball State 15

n Dec. 17, 1993 Las Vegas Bowl--Utah St. 42, Ball State 33

n Dec. 9, 1989 California Bowl--Fresno St. 27, Ball State 6

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