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UCF Knights Slaughter Cincinnati Bearcats 38-13 in Primetime

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UCF Knights' Tre Nixon (#16) runs the ball into the end zone for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Spectrum Stadium Saturday night. Photo: Florida National News.

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.

 

FIRST HALF

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.

 

SECOND HALF

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.

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Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

 

College Football

ESPN Events and the Orlando Sports Foundation Announce Title Sponsor of 2022 Cure Bowl

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Photo: Matt Pendleton/USA TODAY.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Duluth Trading Company will be the title sponsor of the 2022 Cure Bowl, ESPN Events and the Orlando Sports Foundation announced today. The 2022 Duluth Trading Cure Bowl will be played at 3 p.m. ET on Friday, December 16 at Exploria Stadium – home of Major League Soccer’s Orlando City SC – and will be televised nationally on ESPN.

The Duluth Trading Cure Bowl matchup will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 4 with participating teams from the American Athletic Conference, Sun Belt Conference, Conference USA or Mid-American Conference.

“We are honored to have such a strong national brand like Duluth Trading Company join as title sponsor of the 2022 Cure Bowl, as the bowl continues its mission of bringing teams together to find a cure for cancer,” said Cure Bowl Executive Director and Orlando Sports Foundation CEO Alan Gooch.

“Duluth Trading Co. is proud to support the fight against cancer as the title sponsor of the Cure Bowl,” said Neala Shepherd, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience. “At Duluth Trading, we acknowledge the impact that cancer has had on the lives of our customers, employees and communities. Regardless of who you are cheering for, the one thing that unites all college football fans is the hope for a world without cancer.”

The Duluth Trading Cure Bowl is one of 17 college football bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events.

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College Football

UCF’s Football Venue, the Bounce House, Gets a New Name

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UCF's football stadium gets a name change. Photo: University of Central Florida.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: UCF // The UCF Athletic Association and FBC Mortgage, LLC, have combined on a naming rights agreement for the Knights’ home football stadium that takes effect beginning with the upcoming 2022 season and will brand the UCF football venue as FBC Mortgage Stadium.

 

The 10-year, $19.5 million deal means UCF football teams will play their home games in FBC Mortgage Stadium through the 2031 football season. The new arrangement begins July 1–following its approval today by the UCF Board of Trustees.

“It’s an exciting day for UCF Athletics and for FBC Mortgage to be able to collaborate on the naming of our football stadium,” says Terry Mohajir, UCF vice president and director of athletics.

 

“Sellouts have become the norm at UCF. Our game day experience has been widely recognized–and I believe it is second to no one. Knight Nation has established the atmosphere at FBC Mortgage Stadium as one of the best in the country.

 

“We are building the future of college football here at UCF. This represents the next step for us as we reimagine our football campus—and we’re excited to have FBC Mortgage join us on our journey.”

“FBC was founded in 2005 in downtown Orlando, and we are very proud to partner with our hometown university, UCF,” says Rob Nunziata, FBC Mortgage co-CEO. “We would like to thank the UCF athletic department, especially athletics director Terry Mohajir and assistant athletics director Malik Thomas who worked very hard to make this sponsorship a reality…Go Knights!!”

 

“With many of our employees having attended UCF, this was a natural fit for FBC Mortgage–and it also helps us achieve our national growth expansion with a great partner in UCF,” says Joe Nunziata, FBC Mortgage co-CEO.

 

The first UCF football game to be played at FBC Mortgage Stadium will be the Knights’ 2022 season opener Thursday, Sept. 1, against South Carolina State (7 p.m. ET on ESPN+).

 

“On behalf of our football program, I would like to express our appreciation for the support of FBC Mortgage,” says UCF football coach Gus Malzahn whose first Knight team in 2021 finished 7-0 at home.

 

“This provides a legitimate boost to us when it comes to creating a great homefield advantage. We take tremendous pride in the environment at our home football games–and this only adds more luster to that.”

 

The crown jewel in UCF’s impressive athletics complex, the Knights’ football venue–first known as Bright House Networks Stadium–opened in 2007 and became Spectrum Stadium in 2017. The on-campus facility provides UCF one of the top venues anywhere in the Southeast. After spending the previous 28 seasons at the Florida Citrus Bowl (now known as Camping World Stadium) in downtown Orlando, the Knights made their debut in the new on-campus facility on Sept. 15, 2007, facing Texas. A capacity crowd was on hand for the game, which was televised live nationally on ESPN2. Two seasons later when UCF played host to Miami on Oct. 17, 2009, a facility-record 48,453 fans were on hand for the contest.

 

It has played host to conference championship games (Conference USA or American Athletic Conference) after the 2007, 2010, 2017 and 2018 regular seasons. Located on the north side of campus, the stadium features luxury boxes, a large club lounge and a natural grass playing surface.

 

UCF’s gameday football facility has added an impressive series of enhancements over the last seven years:

 

–2015: The stadium enjoyed its first major renovation with the addition of the Carl Black and Gold Cabana. This east-side premium area quickly became one of the signature UCF game-day experiences. The Cabana is a 10,000-square-foot, Florida-themed social area and lounge located between the 30-yard lines.

 

–2016: The video board was upgraded to a 114-by-36-foot LED display. It features a Daktronics 15MM HD pixel layout for excellent image clarity. The display also has variable content zoning, allowing it to show one large image or be divided into multiple windows to show any variety of live video, instant replays, statistics, scoring, graphics, animations and sponsorship messages.

 

–2017: The Carl Black and Gold Cabana was expanded via 2,921 additional chair-back seats and an open-air sun deck. Eight field-level cabanas also were added at the south end zone with access to the enclosed air-conditioned J and J Rosengren Lounge. The concourse between sections 108-113 was converted into the Stadium Club. That 3,344-seat premium area on the west side of the stadium provides access to dedicated food and drink options, as well as other amenities. In addition, a ribbon display in the south end zone was unveiled, with that display measuring more than seven feet high by 199 feet wide.

 

–2018: Field-level cabanas were added at the north end as well as south loge cabanas.

 

–2019: North loge cabanas debuted, and an additional 1,000 premium chair-back seats were added on the east side of the stadium, increasing the capacity of the Carl Black and Gold Cabana for a second time.

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College Football

UCF and Icon Source Collaborate to Bring NIL Marketplace Services to Campus

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UCF Football photo: UCF Today

ORLANDO, Fla. – UCF Athletics announced Tuesday a collaboration with Icon Source, the premier name, image, and likeness marketplace in the U.S., to bring its unparalleled NIL expertise and new local exchange marketplace to UCF Athletics and student-athletes from all sports.

A new product from Icon Source, Icon Suite, will power a UCF-branded local exchange that will be available to all UCF student-athletes. The innovative tool simplifies connecting interested brands with student-athletes for NIL deals and the administrative processes around deal disclosure and compliance for UCF Athletics.

Icon Suite makes it easier than ever for local companies and Knight supporters to readily identify and access student-athletes for potential endorsement and sponsorship deals through a custom UCF marketplace. Through UCF’s Icon Suite software, Icon Source can also service local businesses and alumni by providing guidance, education, and facilitation of the student-athlete sponsorship process.

“Our student-athletes will have the best opportunities to benefit from their name, image, and likeness thanks to this first-of-its-kind venture,” said UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir. “We’re setting the standard by bringing the marketplace to our student-athletes.”

As part of the collaboration, an Icon Source representative will be housed on UCF’s campus as an on-site resource for student-athletes. This is a new NIL service for UCF student-athletes, going along with the free legal and entrepreneurship services already provided to students on-campus.

Florida’s NIL law prohibits colleges and universities from compensating current and prospective student-athletes for NIL deals. UCF’s collaboration with Icon Source simplifies the process for student-athletes and corporate sponsors. These services are provided at cost to the athletes and with no compensation to the university.

“By bringing the marketplace to our campus, it gives our student-athletes the greatest advantage to prosper in this new era of NIL,” Mohajir said. “Icon Source is one of the leaders in this space and having them right here on our campus will give our student-athletes and associated brands optimal opportunities to benefit!”

Founded in 2018 by UCF alumnus and current chief executive officer Chase Garrett, Icon Source has been a trusted tool for professional athletes across all sports and their agents to connect with a broad group of brands and facilitate seamless endorsement deals and partnerships. In 2021, Icon Source expanded that work into the NCAA realm, working tirelessly to empower and protect student-athletes as they maximize their NIL potential.

Numerous national to hyper-local brands have directly connected with and endorsed student-athletes through Icon Source’s compliant marketplace and executed contracts using the marketplace’s wizard, which handles all the administrative aspects of name, image, and likeness dealmaking.

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