Georgia Tech comes back to beat UCF, win Gasparilla Bowl
TAMPA, Fla. -- — Haynes King threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score and Georgia Tech overcame a 14-point deficit to beat UCF 30-17 in the Gasparilla Bowl on Friday night.
King went 7 for 13 for 87 yards and ran for 89 yards on 12 carries.
Jamal Haynes had 128 yards on 18 rushes to help Georgia Tech (7-6) to its first winning season since 2018. He became the Yellow Jackets' first 1,000-yard runner since 2017.
UCF's John Rhys Plumlee completed 16 of 29 passes for 198 and two touchdowns. Timmy McClain replaced Plumlee, who was playing in his last collegiate game, with 4 minutes to play.
RJ Harvey picked up 120 yards on 15 carries as the Knights finished their first season in the Big 12 at 6-7.
Aidan Birr’s 29-yard field goal gave Georgia Tech its first lead, at 20-17, on the second-half’s first drive. Dontae Smith scored from the 1 on fourth down to make it 27-17 with 13:37 left in the fourth.
King’s five-yard TD run and 41-yard scoring toss to Malik Rutherford during the final 4 1/2 minutes of the first half tied it at 17.
UCF took a 7-0 lead just 1:23 into the game when Plumlee connected on a 23-yard touchdown pass to Jarrad Baker. He had a 17-yard TD strike to Kobe Hudson that made it 14-0 midway through the first quarter.
Baker had nine receptions for 173 yards.
Georgia Tech: King, a red-shirt sophomore, and LSU Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jayden Daniels were the only players with at least 2,700 yards passing, 600 yards rushing, 25 touchdown passes and five TD runs this season.
UCF: Has to replace Plumlee but got good news with Harvey deciding to return for his fifth season next year. This was Harvey's seventh 100-yard game of the season.
Referee Cravonne Barrett mistakenly called the coin toss tails before correcting himself,