The #11 UCF Knights put the perfect cap on the university’s national coming-out party, dispatching the #24 Cincinnati Bearcats 38-13 before a sold-out crowd at Spectrum Stadium and millions more watching on ABC in prime time.
After a rough start, UCF settled down, took advantage of some Bearcat special teams errors, and eventually melted Cincinnati on a cool night in Orlando.
Here’s your instant reaction.
Best. GameDay. Ever.
It all started Saturday morning with ESPN College GameDay’s first-ever trip to UCF. We’ll have more on this later this week but in the meantime, here’s a look at some of the best moments, courtesy of UCF Athletics:
The Offense wasn’t all that impressive.
It started with a disastrous sack/fumble/recovery TD for the Cincinnati defense on the firs tplay of the game. The Knights’ early game kitters eventually wore off, but in the final analysis, the nation’s 4th-best rushing team managed only 135 yards on the ground - half of what they averaged coming in.
That brings us to McKenzie Milton, who completed 13/28 for 268 yards and three TDs. It wasn’t a Heisman campaign-level performance, but it got the job done.
Adrian Killins led UCF in receiving with 82 yards and two TDs, and U accumulated a rather average (for them) 402 total yards.
The Defense was really good.
This group caused havoc. They allowed seven total points (the other 6 were on the opening play fumble recovery), and held Cincinnati to 379 total yards. QB Desmond Ridder was a pedestrian 11/26 for 127 yards, no TDs and no interceptions.
The Knights forced:
- 4 sacks
- 7 tackles for loss
- 3 turnovers
- A blocked kick
- 7 points allowed
This squad was the talk of the town after this performance. Randy Shannon has taken some heat for allowing his teams to bend, not break. But this was his masterpiece so far at UCF.
The crowd was phenomenal
That’s the second-best crowd in Spectrum Stadium history behind the Miami game in 2009.
And now, the list of achievements
- 23 wins in a row.
- 23 games with 30 points or more
- 6th 10-win season since 2007
- UCF has clinched The American’s East division. Again.
- 6th division title in program history
- UCF will host the AAC Championship Game at 3:30 p.m. on December 1 on ABC
- UCF will play South Florida on Black Friday in Tampa at 4:15 p.m. on ESPN.
Next Up: The War on I-4
ESPN. 4:15 p.m.. Black Friday. Tampa Let’s roll.