St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - The Central Florida senior class tallied their school-record 34th win, but it was the sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles who led the way.
And the Knights left Conference USA with a bang.
Bortles threw three touchdown passes and ran for another in UCF's 38-17 rout of Ball State in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg.
The Knights (10-4) will head to the Big East next season.
Bortles accumulated 271 yards through the air on 22-of-32 efficiency and added 79 yards rushing for UCF, which suffered a heartbreaking overtime loss to Tulsa in the Conference USA title game that would've given it a berth in the Liberty Bowl. The consolation for UCF was getting to play about 100 miles from campus.
The Knights were an astounding 9-of-12 on third down.
Latavius Murray ran for 74 yards on 21 totes and a score, while adding two touchdowns receiving in the victory.
Keith Wenning was 22-of-34 for 218 yards and two touchdowns for the Cardinals (9-4), who were looking for the school's first-ever bowl victory.
Ball State had won six in a row coming in.