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INSTANT REAX: UCF Stages Phenomenal Second Half to Capture Second Consecutive AAC Title

The Knights outscored Memphis 35-3 after halftime to win their 25th game in a row and another New Year’s Six bowl berth.

AAC Championship - Memphis v Central Florida Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

It really looked like it all would come to an end, but once again, the UCF Knights staged a phenomenal second-half comeback to beat the Memphis Tigers in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game.

Say it out loud: UCF has won 25 games in a row, clinching its second straight conference title and fourth in six years in The American.

Here’s your instant reaction.

The Highlights

The Reaction

Here’s UCF’s postgame press conference:

The Comeback Kids

It was looking really bad there for a while. Six-and-a-half minutes, two turnovers and three Memphis TDs in, it was 21-7.

It looked really bleak after Otis Anderson muffed a punt that led to Darrell Henderson throwing a TD to make it 38-21 before halftime.

Then the game flipped. And it started with the defense:

UCF’s second half for the ages rode a tidal wave of the crowd’s pent-up emotion. Yet, somehow, they stayed steady and took care of what they needed to take care of.

Look at these stats:

Utterly dominant - Even more than what Memphis was in the first half.

Let’s Get McCrae-zy

Greg McCrae is a bona-fide superstar.

For all the much-deserved hoop-lah around Darrell Henderson (and Lord knows he deserves it), McCrae had an amazing night when he had to have it:

24 carries, 206 yards, and a TD. Plus:

Darriel Mack, MVP

It didn’t start well for Darriel Mack Jr. Three first-half fumbles, including two he lost and one that was recovered for a touchdown, helped put his team in the hole.

But you wouldn’t have known it from how poised he was.

He finished 19/27 for 348 yards and 2 TDs, plus another 59 yards on eight rushes and...wait for it...another record:

He also hit on four passing plays of 44 yards or more. Just wow.

On those four plays alone, Mack threw for 16 more yards than his Memphis counterpart, Brady White, did for the whole game (courtesy Brian Murphy on that one).

We’re still going streaking!

25 wins in a row. That’s going on the Wikipedia page:


25 games with 30+ points - a new AP Poll Era record.

31 games with a turnover, thanks to the last meaningful play of the game.

Now...We wait.

We find out tomorrow where UCF will play. It will be in a New Year’s Six game, but where and against whom is up in the air.

After the game, Danny White made his case clear: UCF should be in the playoff:


Just enjoy it!

It’s a conference championship, man. Instead of worrying, for just one day, let’s bask in the limelight.

Start here:

What a time to be alive.