The UCF Knights entered the 2018 American Athletic Conference Football Championship game on a 24-game winning streak and ranked 7th in the country. But they would also be without Mckenzie Milton, who nearly lost his leg a week prior in the War on I-4 at South Florida.
Stepping would be Darriel Mack Jr. who came off the bench to lead the Knights to victory at South Florida and started earlier in the season in a win at East Carolina. Mack would now start against Memphis, who UCF defeated earlier in the season 31-30 on the road on October 13.
Mack would struggle early, turning the ball over twice, and the UCF defense no-showed when it come to stopping the Tigers star back Darrell Henderson, who scored on runs of 62, 12 and 82 yards and also threw a 4-yard TD pass to help Memphis build a 38-21 halftime lead.
But Mack would shrug off the turnovers to rush for four second-half touchdowns and rally the Knights past the Tigers for the fourth time in two seasons by overcoming the 17-point halftime deficit to win the Championship.
Mack completed 19 of 27 passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. He began the Knights’ comeback from a 17-point halftime deficit with a 54-yard TD pass to Otis Anderson and finished the Tigers off with scoring runs of 2, 2, and 5 yards in the fourth quarter.
The win was the 25th in a row for the Knights and UCF would end up going to Fiesta Bowl where the streak would end in a 41-33 loss to the LSU Tigers.