UCF finally got to show the world what they’re all about. From hosting College GameDay to playing primetime on ABC, Knight Nation looked amazing every step of the way. Not only that, but Heupel and his team dominated a top 25 opponent with a top 10 defense in Cincinnati. This was absolutely huge for UCF.
Power of the 12th Man
I’ve been to over 50 games at Spectrum Stadium in my life and I have NEVER heard the crowd so loud and intense. With an attendance of 47,795, the second largest in Spectrum Stadium History and at 108% capacity, UCF showed the world how intimidating it is for opposing teams to come play here.
The Bounce House was literally shaking and the noise was deafening on Cincy’s first drive. The crowd was 100% responsible for the Bearcats starting the game off with a delay of game and a false start. That just goes to show you how important the fan base has been during this streak.
Best Defensive Performance of the Year
There’s no denying UCF has had some struggles on defense throughout the course of this season, specifically against the ground game. Michael Warren was the 4th top 25 running back the Knights have faced this season. For the most part, they were able to shut him down holding him to just 4.5 yards per carry on 18 attempts. QB Desmond Ridder wasn’t able to do much of anything against the UCF secondary, completing just 42.3% of his passes which was a season low for him.
From a tackling stand point, this was a fantastic performance. Tackling has been a huge issue this season but the Knights brought their A-game Saturday night. The pressure was also fantastic as they racked up 7 tackles for a loss, an area where they rank 4th in the nation with 8.3 per game.
UCF was +2 in the turnover column, increasing their total margin on the year to +16 which is 2nd in the nation. 2 of UCF’s 3 fumble recoveries came in their own territory while Cincinnati was driving. The Bearcats possessed the ball for a little over 37 minutes with over 12 minutes of offense that ended with turnovers. During UCF’s entire streak, turnovers have played a huge part in helping UCF win and Saturday night was no different.
The Offense Got it Done
Sure, this may have not been UCF’s best offensive performance of the season but they still put up 38 points on a top 10 defense. The game definitely didn’t start like we all hoped with UCF having -16 yards of offense and a fumble in the endzone for a touchdown. KZ and his squad would eventually get things going with the longest of their 5 touchdown drives being just 3:02.
Wow! Adrian Killins Jr.! As usual, Wile E. Coyote didn’t catch this road runner. UCF leads Cincinnati, 28-6 pic.twitter.com/oeoTl7tQAf— Pat Clarke (@PatClarke39) November 18, 2018
Looking Down the Road
With their win against Cincinnati last night, UCF clinched the AAC East Division title and will host the conference championship on December 1st and 3:30pm. Before we can get to that, UCF has to take on rival South Florida in the War on I-4 this Friday at 4:10pm in Tampa. South Florida has lost their last 4 in a row but you already know UCF is going to get their best shot. Time to go 1-0 again.