It may not have been the prettiest thing in the world, but the UCF Knights took care of business against Navy on Homecoming, more or less stifling the Midshipmen with key turnovers and mixing up their own attack, to the tune of a 35-24 victory.
It won’t impress any CFP voters, but at this stage in the game, that doesn’t matter anymore. They’re going to spin it however they want to spin it. The bottom line is UCF is now 9-0 and has won its 22nd game in a row. That’s something we all can be happy about, right?
The Knights gave Navy a dose of their own medicine.
You know what you’re getting with Navy: LOTS of running via the Triple Option. They came in third in FBS in rushing and ran on all but two of their 65 offensive plays for 374 yards (They did not complete a single pass).
But UCF’s rushing attack has quietly been phenomenal. The Knights are now 5th in the nation in running after racking up 297 yards of their own on the ground. Greg McCrae rushed for 101 yards and a score, and Adrian Killins Jr. added 83 of his own. Even McKenzie Milton got into the act with 62 yards on the ground, and in the process, became UCF’s all-time leader in rushing among QBs:
We have a new QB rushing king and his name is McKenzie Milton ✊# sman pic.twitter.com/EgcMA5PPyp— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) November 10, 2018
KZ was sharp.
Speaking of KZ, he was ruthlessly efficient through the air, going 17/21 for 200 yards and 2 TDs to Dredrick Snelson, both of which were dimes:
1-0 ♂️ pic.twitter.com/eUFWRyXusa— Dredrick Snelson Jr. (@D_Snelson5) November 10, 2018
We can officially dispense with any lingering concerns over his performance.
The defense did pretty good, actually
UCF held Navy to a relatively modest 374 total yards. All told, that’s pretty good - better than their average in fact (429.8). Now, all 374 were on the ground, and that was about 100 yards more than what Navy gains on the ground on average.
OK, fine, UCF gave up three touchdowns in the second half. Let’s bear in mind there were only eight total combined possessions in the second half. But the unimpressiveness of the final tally was largely due to the offense, who fumbled away the ball inside the Navy 10-yard line before halftime, and elected to run out the clock in Navy territory to close out regulation. So UCF left at least 14 points on the board due to the offense, not the defense.
Is it happening?
OK, let’s get this out of the way. There’s till a real possibility that ESPN College GameDay could go live from UCF for next week’s game against Cincinnati. That got a big boost from Cincinnati’s defeat of South Florida to go 9-1 on the year:
thank u, next#Bearcats pic.twitter.com/V4Pc1DC2mS— Cincinnati Football (@GoBearcatsFB) November 11, 2018
Remember, ESPN has already exercised the six-day window for announcing the start time of next week’s game. So if College GameDay is coming, 9-0 UCF may very well be playing the 9-1 Bearcats in primetime, possibly even on ABC.
No word came down from ESPN during their national telecast of Clemson and Boston College for where GameDay would be next week. Meanwhile, UCF released a cryptic tweet late Saturday night:
We'll chat in the AM. Good Knight. pic.twitter.com/CSIPIMfzrH— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) November 11, 2018
Salute to service
Props to the UCF fans for showing out, to the tune of 44,738 on Homecoming. But even better was the respect and sportsmanship shown toward the Midshipmen in their first trip to UCF:
It was an honor to join @NavyAthletics for the Blue & Gold Alma Mater ✊ pic.twitter.com/r4N0bXqxlk— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) November 10, 2018
Can we please just have this moment?
So we’ve got a lot of whining out there on Twitter and other places about how UCF didn’t look impressive enough, didn’t score enough, didn’t stop Navy enough, didn’t do enough, didn’t whatever enough to impress the CFP Committee.
UCF is 9-0. They are in firm control of the AAC East Division once again. They have won 22 consecutive games.
Let’s repeat that in big letters so you can get a good look at it:
THE UCF KNIGHTS HAVE WON 22 CONSECUTIVE GAMES.
Stop complaining about it. This will probably never happen again. NEVER. Don’t waste it by being upset about it not being good enough. If 22 wins in a row isn’t good enough for you to enjoy, you should probably re-examine some of your life choices.