ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The UCF Knights (1-0 AAC, 4-0 overall) had a hot start against the SMU Mustangs (1-0 AAC, 2-3 overall) at Spectrum Stadium Saturday night.
No. 12 UCF, the defending American Athletic Conference champions, extended its national winning steak to 18 games after defending SMU 48-20 in Orlando.
Though SMU got on the board first with Kevin Robledo’s field goal, the Knights were able to capitalize on SMU’s mistakes, including a 15-yard facemask penalty and a punt return fumble, which the Knights recovered.
McKenzie Milton nailed a 14-yard pass to Dredrick Snelson for their second touchdown, scored within minutes of their first–a 15-yard run by Adrian Killins. UCF scored their third with less than three minutes left in the first quarter with a four-yard run by Otis Andreson. The score was already 21-3 by second quarter.
Both teams were on the ball in red zone chances: SMU 1 for 1 and UCF 3 for 3. SMU was 1 for 4 in third down conversions and UCF was 5 for 6.
SMU scored their first touchdown halfway into the second quarter with a touchdown pass to James Proche, bringing the score to 21-10, UCF.
Milton left the game briefly in the second quarter after taking a hard hit by two SMU defenders.
With 3:23 left in the first half, UCF’s Matthew Wright successfully kicked a 43-yard field goal, making the score 24-10.
UCF kicked a 34-yard field goal to close out the first half, making the score 27-10 at halftime.
The Knights held their ground in the second half, scoring again in the third and fourth quarters. SMU managed another field goal in the third quarter and a touchdown in the fourth, ending their scoring run at 20 points. The Knights closed out their scoring at 48 points, making the final score 48-20.
The Knights hit the road for two games (at Memphis October 13 and ECU October 20) before returning home November 1 to face Temple at 7:30pm. The Mustangs have one more road match at Tulane October 20 before returning to their home to face Cincinnati October 27.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org