Yeah, I know it's FIU, but UCF's 53-14 wipeout of the Panthers in Miami was just what the doctor ordered. In a situation where UCF was 1-2, in need of a victory before conference play, on the road in recruit-rich South Florida, with several of said recruits in the stands, and having never really put together a full game's worth of the Scott Frost offense, and needing to do so in impressive fashion, the Knights achieved all of their objectives.
The offense. Man, did they need this. 501 total yards on 76 offensive plays (6.6 yards per play). 276 yards rushing, 225 passing. 26 first downs. 9/16 on third downs. Nine players had a rush, and eight caught a pass. Six of the Knights' touchdown drives lasted less than three minutes.
As far as big plays, UCF only had four plays that gained 25 or more yards, but two of them were from Adrien Killins: A 60-yard catch and a 61-yard touchdown run.
But it was clear as the day: This is what the UCF version of the Oregon offense is supposed to look like. The Knights demoralized the FIU defense with their relentlessness, and put the game away early.
Injuries. Jawon Hamilton was seen on the sideline on crutches in the second half after his injury, and then McKenzie Milton did not return after getting dinged on a play in the third that was called roughing the passer. Hamilton's injury could be costly, but given Milton's ability to run the offense, losing him for East Carolina could be catastrophic.
UPDATE: Frost said post-game that Milton should be OK:
Scott Frost said McKenzie Milton 'should be fine' after UCF's win over FIU. Said they were going to take him out anyway.— osknights (@osknights) September 25, 2016
FIU's administration. Less than 24 hours after the game, and with eight games still to go in the season, the Panthers fired head coach Ron Turner. While Turner was still 10-30 at FIU, the program itself has won just 13 of its last 53 games. It's not his fault that FIU's program is not FBS-level, even though that's where they are. Just ask Mario Cristobal. It will do the team and their players no good to fire Turner in the middle of the season.
The defense. They won't get enough credit, given the offense's performance, but consider they allowed only 109 total yards,
The Turning Point
This first TD, within three minutes of kickoff, was the turning point. But it wasn't just the mundane nature of the play. It was what happened right after.
Oregon did this all the time under Chip Kelly. Coming off their first touchdown, they would run the swinging gate formation, do the math, and if they even thought the situation was favorable, run the two-point play. It's only one point, yes, but it's the psychological advantage of jumping on your opponent with relentless and almost reckless aggressiveness that allows your team to dictate the terms of the game. Even if you miss, you're establishing that you will be the aggressor in this game.
Knight of the Night
You had any doubt?
Stat of the Night
UCF's six rushing touchdowns today is the most since the Knights had 8 against Charleston Southern in Sept. 3, 2011. #UCFvsFIU— osknights (@osknights) September 25, 2016
Irrational Overreaction of the Week
Going for two is stupid in these situations— Standard UCF (@UCF_National) September 24, 2016
This guy clearly has never watched an Oregon game in his life. REPEAT: They did this ALL THE TIME.
Last time we beat them, this was how:
It was George O'Leary's final win as UCF's head coach.