UNIVERSITY PARK (AP) - Through two games, Penn State had shown all the tendencies of a typical Nittany Lions defense.
Penn State had held the opposition to an average of 12 points, 66 yards rushing and 155.5 yards passing. Central Florida's offense had been equally impressive, averaging 38, 161 and 272.
Most figured both units would have to give a little when the two teams met in Beaver Stadium.
UCF thought otherwise.
The Knights' offense was even more prolific against the Nittany Lions than it had been in wins over Akron (38-7) and Florida International (38-0).
While UCF fell four points below its season average, the offense had no trouble moving the ball. The Knights amassed 507 yards in total offense, including 219 on the ground.
The production befuddled Penn State defensive coordinator John Butler.
"We thought we'd be able to handle both (the run and the pass). We've got to look at the tape to find out what it was, but we felt good going in," he said. "We knew what we had to do to stop them and, to be honest with you, we couldn't stop what we needed to stop, by scheme, coaches or players."
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak, dating to last season.
"We tried everything. That's the one thing I know I can say is we emptied the game plan," Butler said. "We tried to play man, we tried to play zone, we tried to play half man, half zone.
"They did a good job."
Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles was as good as advertised. He completed 20 of 27 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns. He was even able to scramble out of trouble five times for 19 yards.
"Going into the game, I knew he was good from studying him. I was told he was supposed to be an NFL prospect. He's a great leader for their team. He does a great job of getting rid of the ball and making smart decisions," Penn State defensive end C.J. Olaniyan said. "It's frustrating when you miss a tackle or when you have him back in the pocket and he gets out.
"That's frustrating no matter who it is."
The Nittany Lions converted 2 of 26 third downs (8 percent) in their first two games, and the struggles continued vs. the Knights. Penn State made good on 2 of 8 chances Saturday.
"I think it's gotta improve," Penn State coach Bill O'Brien said. "I'm not a doctor, I'm not looking for remedies, but I'm just trying to figure it out like everybody else. We'll get better.
"At the end of the day, (it's) how many points you're scoring, (and) that's not bad. We're scoring points, but we definitely have to do a better job on third down."
A pair of impressive streaks ended for both teams.
For Penn State, kicker Sam Ficken's record of consecutive field goals made ended at 15. The junior could hardly be blamed. O'Brien trotted Ficken out for a 57-yard try in the waning seconds of the first half. For his part, Ficken's kick landed just short of the goalpost. Earlier in the quarter, Ficken had converted a career-long 47-yarder.
For UCF, Bortles had his streak of consecutive passes thrown without an interception snapped. Malcolm Willis stepped in front of a pass at the Penn State 21 late in the second quarter. It was the first interception Bortles had thrown in his last 232 attempts, dating back to October of 2012.