Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Thursday, September 29, 2016

After Decimating FIU, Knights Open Conference Play

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 00:47


The UCF Knights (2-2; 0-0 AAC) routed the Panthers of Florida International (0-4; 0-0 C-USA) 52-14 on Saturday in-front of a stadium that was filled with mostly Knights fans. Dontravious Wilson had a career-high three touchdowns and McKenzie Milton earned his first career victory after becoming UCF’s starting quarterback in their heartbreaking loss to Maryland two weeks ago. Matt Murschel from the Orlando Sentinel reports:

UCF took the opening kickoff and started a 59-yard, 11-play drive. The run was capped by Wilson’s first touchdown of the evening, a one-yard run. The Knights averaged 8.8 yards per play on that opening drive but still suffered through mental lapses and unnecessary penalties. FIU (1-3) struggled to do much on offense against UCF’s stout defense, with the Panthers managing just five first downs and 76 yards in the first half. The team’s only score came after a poor punt by Caleb Houston was returned to FIU’s six-yard line. Anthony Jones squirted into the end zone on the next play to cut the early lead to 8-7. UCF later drove the ball down to FIU’s 21-yard line before Milton scrambled out of a sure sack and heaved the ball downfield. Senior tight end Jordan Akins out-jumped several Panthers defenders to secure the Knights’ second touchdown of the game. Later in the first half, UCF’s Drico Johnson stepped up and intercepted Maurice Alexander and returned the ball 25 yards to the Knight’s 15-yard line. On the next play, Milton pitched the ball to Wilson, who rushed up the middle virtually untouched for his second touchdown. It extended the lead to 25-7 with 8:50 left in the first half.

Milton kept UCF rolling, connecting with Adrian Killins on a screen pass and the dynamic freshman ducked and weaved his way through the FIU defense in a Madden-esque play for a 60-yard gain to the FIU 30-yard line. Two plays later, Wilson ran into the end zone to put UCF up 32-7. Killins finished the night with 209 all-purpose yards, including a 61-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. It was the first time UCF scored at least 30 points in a half since Nov. 22, 2014, against SMU. Redshirt junior linebacker Shaquem Griffin led the Knights with five tackles and two sacks. The team finished with five sacks for the second consecutive game and held FIU to under 200 total yards. The win did come at a cost for UCF. Freshman running back Jawon Hamilton left the game in the first half after suffering what appeared to be a left knee injury. He was seen on the sidelines with the knee wrapped in ice and was on crutches later on in the game.

The Knights now journey to Greenville, North Carolina, where they will face the Pirates of East Carolina (2-2; 0-0 AAC). The Pirates have a win against NC State and Western Carolina and losses against South Carolina and Virginia Tech. They should be quite the foe for UCF to take on this Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for Noon and the game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network. Below, watch highlights of UCF’s blowout win over FIU, courtesy of the American Athletic Conference:

Photo and article excerpts courtesy Orlando Sentinel.

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