punted three straight times on their initial three drives after halftime ended.
Things began to feel awful thanks to one nauseating play, when UCF coach Josh Heupel went for it on 4th-and-1 from his own 29-yard-line and ended up with a 71-yard touchdown run.
It began to get downright wacky once Memphis and UCF traded fumbles three times in a span of less than two minutes bridging the third and fourth quarters.
The Tigers began to feel helpless when UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton threaded a pass between three Memphis defenders for a long third down conversion, and then caromed over two more for a touchdown run.
The game ended with a 32-yard Memphis touchdown erased by one penalty, and a last-ditch drive halted by another. UCF 31, Memphis 30. Memphis is now 0-3 against Mother Nature this season.
This time, she washed away the Tigers' passing game, washed away a large segment of the fans that showed up at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium and, eventually, washed away an upset that would have resonated throughout college football.
The nation's longest active winning streak is intact at 19 games. The AAC's best chance for a playoff team, and a Heisman Trophy finalist, are still alive.
Memphis' hopes of competing for another division title probably aren't.
It was all so deflating, especially because of how fantastically fun the first half felt.
It was the sort of environment every college football fan dreams about.
A sea of 38,831 blue-clad Memphis fans didn’t come close to filling the Liberty Bowl, but the place sure sounded close to full every time the Tigers made a big play.
Penny Hardaway was there. So was DeAngelo Williams. Even the Medicine Man made a rare re-appearance, leading the Memphis faithful in a “T-I-G-ER-S” chant between the first and second quarter.
It was a cathartic experience, another reminder of how far this football program has come over the past decade.
By that point, tailback Darrell Henderson already had 115 rushing yards, defensive lineman John Tate IV had two sacks and quarterback Brady White had strutted into the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown run.
It capped a scoring drive that featured one fourth-down conversion and another third-down conversion in which White pretended to look toward the sideline for a play call before the ball was snapped directly to Henderson.
Memphis coach Mike Norvell was pulling out all the stops with a top-10 team in town for the first time since 2009. UCF faced its biggest deficit since its 18-game win streak began.
The Tigers scored on every drive before halftime, using pre-snap mind games with linemen lined up as receivers and White lined up a a receiver.
They fed Henderson more than they ever had, and he romped over an opposing defense just like he has against everyone else this season. The defense kept stuffing UCF on third down. It was as fine a half as anybody could have imagined, given the opponent and the magnitude of this moment.
The entire ESPN Gameday crew picked UCF to win. Kirk Herbstreit said the Tigers weren't fast enough, or tough enough, to compete with the undefeated Knights.
But in true Memphis fashion, the Tigers were defying what the outsiders expected. It looked like lots of people, including this columnist, would end the day with egg on their face.
It seemed, at least for a few blissful hours, that chatter suggesting this season couldn't be just as thrilling as last year were premature. And now? Now, all you can really remember is the collapse that will haunt the rest of this season.
Memphis quarterback Brady White (right) scrambles past the Central Florida defense during action in Memphis, Tenn., Saturday, October 13, 2018.