ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Kevin Smith ran 219 yards and a touchdown on a school-record 46 carries to surpass 2,000 yards for the season, and Central Florida defeated UTEP 36-20 on Saturday.
The Knights (9-3, 7-1), winners of six straight since losing to South Florida on Oct. 13, secured the Conference USA East title and will host Tulsa in the C-USA championship game Dec 1.
Smith leads the nation with 2,164 yards rushing, the fourth-highest total in Division I-A (now called Bowl Subdivision) history. Only Oklahoma State's Barry Sanders (2,628 in 1988), USC's Marcus Allen (2,342 in 1981) and Iowa State's Troy Davis (2,185 in 1996) are ahead of Smith on the single-season list.
Smith's statistics in the C-USA title game and UCF's bowl game will count toward his season total. Sanders and Allen, who won Heisman Trophies during their 2,000-yard seasons, played 11 regular-season games and their bowl stats didn't count toward their season total. Davis only played 11 games.
Smith also leads the country in touchdowns with 26.
Matt Forte of Tulane went over 2,000 yards rushing last week and finished the season with 2,127. Forte and Smith are the 12th and 13th players to run for at least 2,000 yards in a season in major college football history.
The Knights scored first in the second quarter when Michael Torres kicked a 47-yard field goal.
UTEP (4-8, 2-6 C-USA) took a brief 17-16 lead in the third.
Free safety Quentin Demps intercepted Israel in the end zone and returned it 100 yards for the lead. Demps leads NCAA Division I players with 17 career interceptions. It was the second time this season Demps has retuned a pick for 100 yards.
Torres hit fields goals of 28 and 34 yards for the Knights to take a 22-17 lead. UCF added two more scores when Israel hit receiver Rocky Ross for a four-yard touchdown pass and Smith picked up a two-yard run.
Vittatoe went 20-for-37 with 292 yards and a touchdown and two interceptions. UCF's Guyton led all receivers with 96 yards on four catches.
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