One of the most significant moments in the 25 seasons of UCF Football in the FBS was when the Knights got their on-campus stadium. On August 5th, Black and Gold Banneret reported that the “Bounce House” is no longer just a nickname for UCF’s Football stadium; it would be the official name of the stadium:
Even though this name will be short-lived until UCF finds a sponsor, many will still refer to the stadium as the Bounce House, just like many refer to LSU and Clemson’s home stadiums as “Death Valley”, and Florida Gators’ home stadium as “The Swamp”.
We now take a look back at best UCF games ever played at the Bounce House.
#25 - UCF 37, Tulane 6 (Nov. 5, 2016)
UCF set a school record with three defensive touchdowns in the win. Drico Johnson became the first Knight defender ever to score two touchdowns in a game, and Shaquill Griffin added to it with a pick six of his own as the Knights’ defense forced five turnovers in the win.
#24 - UCF 56, FAU 36 (Sept. 21, 2018)
McKenzie Milton went 21/32 for 306 yards and three touchdowns while also leading the Knights in rushing with 13 carries for 81 yards and three more TDs as UCF would take over in the 2nd half and win a shootout against Lane Kiffin, Devin Singletary and the FAU Owls. The game marked the return of UCF Athletic Hall-of-Famer Kevin Smith, who was the running back coach on Kiffin’s staff. Smith coached Singletary, who ran for 142 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. Singletary currently plays in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills. The game combined for 992 total yards of offense.
#23 - UCF 34, South Florida 7 (Nov. 29, 2019)
Dillon Gabriel went 23/39 for 270 yards and two touchdowns and Gabe Davis added 8 receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns in what would be his final game as a Knight, as UCF dominated the Bulls to win their third straight game in the series. UCF’s defense held the Bulls to just 250 yards of total offense. It would also turn out to be the last game for Charlie Strong as head coach of Bulls.
#22 - UCF 49, East Carolina 35 (Oct. 30, 2010)
It was a C-USA showdown as UCF knew to win the conference, they would have to go through the Pirates, who had won the last four meetings coming into this one. But Ronnie Weaver ran for career high 182 yards and two touchdowns and the Knights would knock off the Pirates, 49-35. As a team, UCF ran for 275 yards as Latavius Murray chipped in with 47 yards and three touchdowns.
#21 - UCF 52, Temple 40 (Nov. 2nd, 2018)
In a game that featured 92 points and 1,300 yards of total offense, #9 UCF, decked out in their Space Game uniforms, outlasted Temple in a game that was closer than the experts anticipated, 52-40, in front of an ESPN Thursday night audience.
#20 - UCF 38, Southern Miss 31 (2OT) (Oct. 13, 2012)
It was the Knights’ first-ever double-overtime game in program history (the only other time was 2016 against Maryland). Southern Miss would go 0-12 on the season, which is why this game misses the top 10. It was UCF’s first win over Southern Miss since 2007 and it came in dramatic fashion.
#19 - UCF 41, Rutgers 17 (Nov. 22, 2013)
Blake Bortles and UCF put on a show in front of a national TV audience on ESPN on a Thursday night. Bortles accounted for 367 of UCF’s football team’s 452 total yards in its win over Rutgers.
But the most memorable play of the game would turn out to be one of most memorable plays in the history of UCF, when running back Will Stanback trucked a Rutgers defender:
#18 - UCF 45, Stanford 27 (Sep. 14, 2019)
UCF started the game scoring 21 unanswered points in freshman Dillon Gabriel’s first home start as #16 UCF coasted to a 45-27 victory over visiting Stanford.
Gabriel threw four touchdowns in the win, while Gabe Davis had 4 catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. Greg McCrae added 109 yards on the ground as the Knights racked up 591 yards of total offense.
#17 - UCF 40, Memphis 13 (Sept. 30, 2017)
McKenzie Milton was 19/31 passing for 253 yards plus 88 yards rushing on 11 carries. But the story of this game was Adrian Killins, who had five receptions for 64 yards and a score and added nine carries for 115 yards, including the most memorable play from this game and one of most memorable runs in the stadium’s history with a school-record 96-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter.
The Knights coasted to a 40-13 win.
#16 - UCF 16, Marshall 6 (Oct. 8, 2011)
Running back Brynn Harvey rushed 30 times for 180 yards and quarterback Jeff Godfrey threw his first passing touchdown of the season as the Knights held on to beat Marshall, 16-6, in a game that was played in a steady downpour that started the night before and continued all day Saturday, intensifying throughout the game.
According to weather records, at least seven inches of rain fell the day of the game, making it the wettest October day in Orlando since 1950. The Knights’ win gave George O’Leary his 100th career victory.
#15 - South Carolina 28, UCF 25 (Sept. 28, 2013)
Yes, I know it is a loss - the only loss the Knights had in 2013. But this game still had historical meaning for the program. This game marked the first time that UCF would play on ABC as they hosted the legendary Head Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier, and South Carolina. It is also the most-watched UCF regular season game in Orlando and is the second most-watched UCF game in Orlando behind only the Fiesta Bowl win over Baylor. The South Carolina game did a monster 11.5 local rating in Orlando - 243,500 viewers. To put that in perspective, 2016’s UCF game at Michigan, which was also televised on ABC, did a 4.4 local rating.
The game would also feature future 2014 NFL Draft #1 overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina, who is the only #1 overall draft pick to play at the Bounce House. Also on same field was Blake Bortles, who would end up going third overall in the same draft.
#14 - UCF 36, UTEP 20 (Nov. 24, 2007)
Kevin Smith ran for 219 yards and a touchdown on a school-record 46 carries, becoming the 13th player in Division I history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in the process. The win also clinched the C-USA Eastern Division title and a berth in the 2007 C-USA Championship Game.
#13 - 2010 C-USA Championship: UCF 17, SMU 7 (Dec. 4, 2010)
Latavius Murray rushed for 94 yards and scored two touchdowns, and UCF marched to a 17-7 victory over SMU, winning its second Conference USA championship on home turf. The Knightswentt to the Liberty Bowl, where they would score the program’s first bowl win, defeating Georgia.
#12 - UCF 31, BYU 24 (OT) (Oct. 9, 2014)
UCF came back from a 24-10 deficit to beat BYU in overtime in front of an ESPN audience. I’ll never forget walking back to the parking lot after the game and running into an exhausted Terrance Plummer, who was just laying down on the ground after playing one of best games any Knight linebacker has ever played. Plummer set a career-high with 17 tackles, plus a sack, 4.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.
#11 - UCF 21, Marshall 20 (November 1, 2009)
What is it about Marshall and UCF and bad weather? UCF came back from down 20-7 in the fourth quarter, and a Marshall fumble with 2:12 remaining gave the Knights new life. Brett Hodges would find Rocky Ross for the game-winning touchdown with 23 seconds left. The Knights clinched it with one of the greatest calls ever by Dave LaMont.
The win helped the Knights run to the St. Petersburg Bowl that year.
#10 - UCF 30, Boston College 3 (Sept. 10, 2011)
September 10, 2011 marked a very special and emotional day both on and off the field. Most of the sellout crowd was honoring Welles Crowther and all of the innocent victims of 9/11 by wearing red bandanas. The Knights also hosted Boston College, which was led by future NFL star linebacker Luke Kuechly.
The game would be all Knights. Boston College would go on to a 4-8 season in 2011, and the Knights ended struggling as well, going 5-7. That’s why this game is not ranked higher.
#9 - Texas 35, UCF 32 (Sept. 15, 2007)
I know, I know, we lost this game. It was a gut-wrenching loss. But damn, what a game, what an atmosphere and what a day! The first-ever game on campus and it was Texas!
#8 - UCF 37, Houston 32 (Nov. 14, 2009)
UCF got the program’s first win over a top-25 team on Homecoming, beating Kevin Sumlin’s 12th-ranked Houston Cougars, who were led by star quarterback Case Keenum.
#7 - UCF 19, Houston 14 (Nov. 9, 2013)
How big was this game? Check out ESPN’s College GameDay preview:
This game turned out to be a defensive struggle and came down to the most memorable goal-line stand in program history, “keeping the dream alive,” as Marc Daniels said on his radio call of the final play as the Knights’ chances for a BCS bowl berth survived.
#6 - UCF 23, USF 20 (Nov. 29, 2013)
On Black Friday, it was USF looking to spoil UCF’s dream of a BCS berth and an American Championship.
I was on the sideline in the fourth quarter, standing next to UCFSports.com’s Brandon Helwig and UCF radio sideline reporter Jerry O’Neill, and the Knights played as ugly as they looked (Seriously, what were they thinking with that jersey-helmet combo?). UCF was down 20-16 with five minutes to go in the game. I still remember the play like it was yesterday: Blake Bortles pumps and goes deep to Breshad Perriman for a 52-yard touchdown to give UCF the lead. It all happened right in front of me. The Knights’ defense would close it out with an interception and wrap up the AAC regular season title.
#5 - UCF 38, Cincinnati 13 (Nov. 17, 2018)
It was the most memorable day on UCF’s campus as ESPN’s College GameDay was on Memory Mall for the Cincinnati-UCF game.
Oh, by the way, it was a top-20 match-up between the Bearcats and the Knights on ABC in primetime. UCF put on a show for the national audience with Chris Fowler & Kirk Herbstreit calling the game at The Bounce House.
#4 - 2007 C-USA Championship: UCF 44, Tulsa 25 (Dec. 1, 2007)
A magical first year at a new stadium on campus ended with UCF hosting the C-USA Championship Game against Tulsa.
Two years earlier, UCF hosted Tulsa in the C-USA Championship at the Citrus Bowl, but the Knights lost that game and the chance for the program’s first-ever conference championship.
This time, however, the game was on campus, and Kevin Smith made sure history would not repeat itself. 24K destroyed Tulsa’s defense and put on one of greatest single-game performances any Knight has ever had on the gridiron.
The Knights would win the program’s first-ever conference championship and the celebration was on.
#3 - 2018 AAC Championship: UCF 56, Memphis 41 (Dec. 1, 2018)
One week after McKenzie Milton’s devastating injury at South Florida, the Knights had to rally around Darriel Mack Jr. to beat a Memphis team that was still angry after their 1-point loss to UCF at home earlier in the season. And did they show it in the first half.
But the Knights came back from 17 points down to win back-to-back American Athletic Conference Championships and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl.
#2 - 2017 AAC Championship Game - UCF 62, Memphis 55 (2OT) (Dec. 2, 2017)
With a trip to the Peach Bowl and a conference title on the line, Scott Frost’s last game at the Bounce House as UCF Head Coach turned into the highest-scoring Conference Championship game ever.
#1 - UCF 49, USF 42 (Nov. 24, 2017)
It was the most hyped and biggest War on I-4 Game in rivalry history as the Knights and Bulls were playing in the biggest game in rivalry’s history.
Special edition of @UCF_Banneret episode as I talk with @adamamin about calling the #WarOnI4 classic in 2017 between South Florida & @UCF_Football with @DustyDvoracek & @MollyAMcGrath. #UCF. Amin also discusses broadcasting career and more. https://t.co/AiWpDO4rmi— Eric Lopez (@EricLopezELO) April 27, 2020
The winner would advance to AAC Championship Game - something the Bulls have never accomplished - while the Knights came in looking to go 11-0 in front of a sold-out crowd and large TV audience on ABC. The game lived up to the hype and then some.
Missing one? Got a different #1? Let us know below.