Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Saturday, November 5, 2016

UCF Knights Stout Defense Crushes the Tulane Green Wave, 37-6

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 23:17


The UCF Knights (5-4; 3-2 AAC) crushed the Green Wave of Tulane (3-6; 0-5 AAC) 37-6 on Saturday night in-front of an energetic crowd at Bright House Networks Stadium and a nationwide audience on ESPN3. The Knights started the game with a fumble that Tulane returned for 6-points, missing the extra point. But those were the only points the Green Wave would score for the remainder of the game. As Shannon Green from the Orlando Sentinel reported:

UCF’s offense needed to get back on track after struggling to find a rhythm in the past three games. During nonconference games, the Knights established themselves as a stout running team, running for 275 yards against No. 5 Michigan. But UCF saw a steady decline against Temple, UConn and Houston, registering a season-low 40 yards on the road against the Cougars [the Knights blew a 21-0 halftime lead and lost to Houston last week]. One major contributing factor was the loss of the steady left guard Tyler Hudanick. He suffered a season-ending knee injury against Temple on Oct. 15.

Led by freshmen Jawon Hamilton and Adrian Killins, the Knights were able to rush for more than 100 yards for the first time in three games. The two combined for 82 yards on 11 carries and Killins averaged 9.4 yards per carry. Senior running back Dontravious Wilson also added 35 rushing yards. Killins contributed to a shaky start for UCF. He fumbled the ball on the first play of the game for the Knights. That was followed up by an interception tossed by McKenzie Milton.

The Knights struggled to punch the ball in the end zone despite taking the ball into Tulane’s territory on four of their six drives in the first half. But the speedy rookie tailback, Killins, helped break the offense out of its slump with 44 yards rushing and receiving during UCF’s solo scoring drive in the first half. Milton faked a handoff and ran in a one-yard rushing touchdown to give the Knights a 7-6 lead. It was the third rushing touchdown of the season for the rookie quarterback.

“That’s not how we want to start a football game, particularly when you are playing a team that has a different type of offense than you are used to seeing,” Frost said of the turnovers. “It takes a little bit, maybe a series or two for guys to get the feel for what the speed of how they do it is like.” UCF’s offense stalled for much of the game, but Johnson’s fumble recovery in the third quarter marked a turning point for the Knights. Johnson and Griffin scored two defensive touchdowns in the third quarter to shut down the Green Wave’s chance for a rally.

The Knights’ next offensive touchdown didn’t come until the fourth quarter. With a 30-6 lead, coaches brought senior quarterback Justin Holman in to relieve Milton. Holman threw a 50-yard bomb to senior receiver Hayden Jones on his first play and capped the drive with a 1-yard rushing touchdown.

UCF needs only one more win to become bowl eligible, which would be an incredibly amazing feat just one year after the team went winless in 2015. The Knights return home on Saturday to take on the Bearcats of Cincinnati (4-5; 1-4 AAC) at Noon. The game will be nationally televised on either ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN News, or CBS Sports Network. Below, watch highlights of UCF’s 37-6 win over the Tulane Green Wave courtesy of the American Athletic Conference.


Content and Photo Courtesy Orlando Sentinel.

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