If it were a track meet, UCF won. For the first time since 2011, the Knights rushed for 350 yards, including a record-breaking 96-yard touchdown rush from running back Adrian Killins. UCF won handily 40-13 over American Athletic Conference foe Memphis Tigers.
“It helps when you get 96-or-something on one play right?,” UCF head coach Scott Frostjokingly asked after the game. Our running back was hitting holes better than we did in game one. Our o-line is getting better every week.”
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As for that offensive line that continues to improve every week according to Frost, sophomore quarterback McKenzie Milton has yet to sacked through the first three games of the season.
“Well we kind of got Wyatt (Miller) nicked up early and we were forced to move Jake (Brown) out to tackle, move Sam Jackson into guard, a true freshman. I thought from the first drive they kind of established their physicality,” said Frost.
Not only on the ground but in the air the Knights dominated as Milton threw for 253 yards on 19/31 passing, three touchdowns and one interception. Two of three touchdowns were to wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith.
The Tigers led 7-6 at the 5:15 mark of the first quarter Patrick Taylor found the end zone from two-yards out. Matthew Wright nailed a 28-yard field goal in the second quarter giving UCF a 9-7 lead.
Once Killins broke free for the 96-yard score with 4:23 left in the first half, the Knights never looked back.
“AK (Adrian Killins) is the type of guy – he’s a big play waiting to happen. It happened a bunch last year. He’s not the biggest guy if you haven’t noticed, so we can’t force feed him 40 carries a game. If he touches it 12 times, something good is going to happen,” said Frost.
Milton connected with Smith for a 34-yard touchdown pass right before halftime. Milton found Killins in the backfield for the 19-yard score putting UCF up 30-7 over Memphis. Then to start off the 4th quarter, Smith scored for the second time of the night, a 25-yard pass from Milton, which gave the Knights 30-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, the Knights started out slow. However, after mid-game adjustments, UCF buckled down. Saturday was the first three-interception game since last season against Houston. Mike Hughes and Kyle Gibson each had their second interceptions of the game causing Memphis’s quarterback Riley Ferguson all kinds of trouble. Seyvon Lowry had his second interception of his career as well.
“Mike has come in (and) he’s not just a fine football player, he’s been a good teammate and he’s done everything we asked him in the short time he’s been here,” said Frost on Hughes, a transfer formerly at UNC. “He’s been an unbelievable addition for us and he’s doing some things in the return game, on defense, in coverage, tackling.”
Wright made his second field goal of the game, this time from 35-yards out, giving UCF 40 points. Memphis scored as time expired on a 14-yard pass from Ferguson to Damonte Coxie setting the final score at 40-13.
“This team deserves whatever it gets because they’ve earned it,” said Frost.