ORLANDO (FNN SPORTS) – The UCF Knights and Cincinnati Bearcats faced off before a Spectrum Staidum that was full to capacity Saturday night. The crowd was so thunderous, the fans’ stomps and jumps quaked the press box, and could possibly have thrown off the Bearcats–at least at first.
The Bearcats possessed the ball first and their first three plays were a delay of game, a false start and an incomplete pass. In that order. However, the Bearcats did eventually get their bearing and managed to get on the board first with a touchdown by way of a fumble at the goal line, bringing the score to 6-0.
With seven minutes left in the first quarter, the Knights scored their first touchdown with quarterback McKenzie Milton’s three-yard scramble into the end zone, making the score 7-6.
The stadium erupted in the last 20 seconds of the first quarter. Cincinnati attempted a field goal, which UCF’s Joey Connors blocked. UCF’s Brandon Moore then recovered the ball and returned it for 53 yards. The Knights finished the job as soon as the second quarter began, with Adrian Killins Jr. nailing the 17-yard touchdown pass from Milton, widening UCF’s lead to 14-6.
UCF got their next touchdown with less than six minutes left in the first half, and on a third down to boot. Milton threw the 36-yard touchdown pass to Tre Nixon, bringing the score to 21-6.
Neither team was able to score again before halftime, but Cincinnati appeared to be cracking under UCF’s pressure between multiple consecutive false starts, incomplete passes and the sack on Desmond Ridder with a seven-yard loss. The score remained 21-6 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Knights’ Matthew Wright managed to miss a field goal roughly six minutes in, but the Knights made up for it with another touchdown with less than six minutes left. Killins came through again, completing a 42-yard touchdown pass from Milton and Wright’s extra point attempt was good, raising the score to 28-6.
The Bearcats had two turnovers in the third quarter, the last of which happened near the end with UCF’s Pat Jasinski forcing a fumble on Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder which UCF’s Keenan Johnson recovered–and that after the sack by Titus Davis for a five-yard loss.
Milton was sacked as well for a seven-yard loss by Cincinnati’s Kimoni Fitz much earlier in the quarter.
The Knights opened the fourth quarter with another touchdown and successful extra point for a 35-6 score. However, the Bearcats answered back with their second touchdown, bringing them into the double digits with a score of 35-13. UCF went pass-free for the fourth quarter and placed the nail in the coffin with less than five minutes left in the game thanks to Matthew Wright’s successful 33-yard field goal, making the final score 38-13.
The Knights next play USF at Raymond James Stadium on Black Friday, November 23.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org