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Three AlumKnights Find End Zone in Wild NFL Week 1

Hughes Makes Biggest Splash in Rookie Debut

Mike Hughes (Photo: Derek Warden)
Mike Hughes (Photo: Derek Warden)

Yesterday began seventeen straight Sundays of NFL Football, and UCF was well-represented all across the league.

Three Knights made their NFL debuts yesterday: Mike Hughes in Minnesota, Shaquem Griffin with Seattle, and Tre’Quan Smith in New Orleans against the Bucs.

Hughes Scores on Pick-6 in Vikings Debut

Hughes was the first Knight to find the end zone yesterday with a pick-six off Jimmy Garoppolo in the third quarter. This gave the Vikes a two-touchdown lead and put them ahead of the 49ers for the rest of the game. He added three tackles to the box score as well. His efforts propelled Hughes and the Vikings to a 24-16 win to start the season off 1-0.

Hughes’ teammate and alumni Latavius Murray was the leading rusher for the Vikings in yesterday’s win. Murray rushed for 42 yards on 11 carries. Second-year running back Dalvin Cook had more carries, but Murray gained more yardage.

Griffin Twins Take Field Together for Seahawks

The Griffin twins were reunited on the field yesterday when the Seahawks visited Denver to face the Broncos at Mile High. It was the first time the Griffin twins had been on the field in a competitive game since 2016, Shaquill’s senior season at UCF. Shaquill started at cornerback and recorded six tackles, second behind rookie Tre Flowers.

Shaquem started for the injured K.J. Wright and recorded two tackles in his NFL debut. Wright has just undergone knee surgery, so expect Shaquem to remain in the starting lineup at outside linebacker.

Another new Seahawk and former Knight Brandon Marshall made his Seahawks debut yesterday with much success. He found the end zone on a 20-yard touchdown in the third quarter to tie the game at 17. Marshall ended the game with three catches for 46 yards and a touchdown.

Marshall’s teammate Doug Baldwin sprained his MCL in their loss yesterday and should be out several weeks. This means Marshall’s targets will increase and he should see more run in the Seahawk offense. With Jimmy Graham gone, Marshall will continue to be the leading presence in the red zone for the team.

Blake Being Blake

Blake Bortles was the third Knight who found the end zone yesterday. He threw a 1-yard touchdown to T.J. Yeldon in the Jaguars’ 20-15 win over the Giants. Bortles’ final stat line read 18/33, 176 passing yards, a touchdown and a pick. He also added a 41-yard carry in the second half.

Bortles’ teammate and 2017 Pro Bowler A.J. Bouye recorded four tackles in the win.

The Knights showed out in Week 1 and still have Matt Prater kicking for the Lions on Monday Night Football this evening. Here’s to hoping for a similar output next week.

Blake Bortles Fact of the Week: