By Paul Tenorio | Orlando Sentinel UCF Writer
6:23 PM EST, November 17, 2012
UCF struggled to protect quarterback Blake Bortles on Saturday in its 23-21 loss to Tulsa.
The redshirt sophomore was sacked four times, including twice on the final drive of the game when the Knights were looking to put together a game-winning drive.
“I thought he was under duress all day myself as far as trying to get rid of the ball,” UCF coach George O’Leary said. “He made some good throws, but you cant take sacks at the end of the game like that. Throw the ball away, don’t take sacks.”
Bortles took several big hits early in the game as he delivered passes, and also was flushed out of the pocket on his only touchdown pass of the game. He completed 13 of 31 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown and rushed eight times for minus-eight yards.
One of UCF’s biggest bright spots of the game was Bortles’ touchdown pass. On the play, he escaped the pass rush, maintained balance after getting tripped, rolled to his left and threw a 21-yard strike to Breshad Perriman as he got hit.
“And ironically one of the things we had talked aout earlier was he seems to be able to extend plays and then throw magnificently when he’s out of the pocket, which is a little unusual for big guys,” Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship said. “And that first touchdown he got when we actualy had him in check, I mean, that’s the kind of players he is. I think you’ve got to give him, we hit him hard several times, he kept fighting back. But very good quarterback.”
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