Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Monday, September 19, 2016

UCF Knights Suffer Heartbreaking Loss to Maryland in Double OT

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:50


The UCF Knights (1-2; 0-0 AAC) took the Terrapins of Maryland (3-0; 0-0 B10) into double overtime on Saturday in front of a near-capacity Bright House Networks Stadium crowd of over 43,000. A game that lasted over four hours and saw Freshman quarterback McKenzie Milton take the field for the very first time (burning his red shirt), ended when Milton fumbled the ball as UCF stood just three yards away from winning the game. It was the final blow during a 30-24 loss punctuated by six fumbles and three turnovers by the Knights. Below are more highlights of the game courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel:

After dropping a hard-fought 51-14 contest against No. 5 Michigan in Week 2, players were eager to show improvement and upset Maryland. Even outside of the home fan base, some people believed UCF could pull off the victory. ESPN personality Lee Corso even picked the Knights to beat the Terrapins before the game.

UCF’s defense jumped all over Maryland, forcing the team into punts on all four of its first quarter drives. Milton suffered through some costly freshman mistakes, but he bounced back with big-time plays, including his 31-yard overtime touchdown pass to receiver Tre’Quan Smith as UCF trailed Maryland 24-17 in a third-and-16 situation. He scrambled right to hit Smith on the run helped by strong blocking from right tackle Wyatt Miller.

Despite the uneven performance, Milton still helped UCF run 91 plays for a total of 455 offensive yards. He passed for 260 yards and was intercepted once on a tipped pass to freshman receiver Dredrick Snelson.

“I’m broken-hearted for our kids. They worked their tails off,” UCF coach Scott Frost said. “I told them before the game they were poised and ready to knock off a team that nobody, or very few people, thought they could beat. We had our chances in this one.

“[I] give a ton of credit to Maryland, they’re kind of trying to do the same thing we are in rebuilding a program. I think [D.J. Durkin has] done a great job, but we had a lot of chances to finish it, to score early, to make it a different game and I’m hurting for our kids that we didn’t get it done.”

Below, watch video highlights of the game, courtesy of the American Athletic Conference:

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