NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Lester Ricard threw a touchdown pass to Damarcus Davis and the Tulane defense kept Central Florida out of the end zone as the Green Wave defeated the Golden Knights, 10-9, in a Conference USA game Saturday.
Ricard's touchdown pass helped Tulane (4-7, 2-5) build a 10-0 halftime lead. It withstood a Central Florida comeback as Michael Torres made three second-half field goals, but missed his fourth attempt -- from 35 yards -- with 3:15 remaining in the game.
The Golden Knights' final opportunity failed when Tulane cornerback Israel Route forced and recovered a fumble by wide receiver Mike Walker at the Green Wave 35 and returned the ball to the UCF 23 with 1:32 remaining.
Central Florida played two quarterbacks. Senior Steven Moffett started and completed 6-of-15 for 57 yards. Junior Kyle Israel played one series in the first half and the entire second half, finishing 16-of-20 for 173 yards.
After a scoreless first quarter, Tulane took a 10-0 halftime lead on Ross Thevenot's 29-yard field goal and Ricard's 9-yard touchdown pass to Davis with 34 seconds left in the second quarter.
Central Florida (3-8, 2-5) was the first Green Wave opponent to be held scoreless in the first half in 20 games.
Torres kicked field goals of 21 and 35 yards to cut the Tulane lead to 10-6 with 14:05 remaining in the game. UCF threatened again midway through the fourth, but stalled at Tulane's 14. Torres' 31-yard field goal made it 10-9 with 6:42 left.
The Golden Knights got an opportunity to take the lead when Tulane punter Chris Beckman dropped a snap and Blake Carter tackled him at Tulane's 18 before he could punt. But UCF gained just six yards on three plays and Torres was wide right on a 35-yard field-goal attempt with 3:15 remaining.
UCF then forced a Tulane punt and started at the Green Wave 47, but three plays later Route took the ball away.
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