Head coach Scott Frost has done the unimaginable. A once (0-12) team has turned around its football program and is now (6-4) and indeed bowl game eligible. With a dominant 24-3 over the Cincinnati Bearcats, the UCF Knights will be going bowling after the regular season ends.
The Knights honored all veterans yesterday wearing special helmets designed with each emblem from all parts of the United States military. As you’ll see in the photos, the UCF logo was red, white and blue on one side of the helmets and the emblem was on the other.
“I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to travel all over the world. I’ve been to a lot of different countries and every time I go overseas it makes me realize how great a nation this is. There are a lot of people who have sacrificed a lot to allow us to do what we love to do. It’s a small tip of the cap, I wish we could do more. But any time we can do anything to honor the people that are giving us the right to do this, it makes me proud to do it,” said head coach Scott Frost.
The Knights defense impressed the national audience watching on ESPNU by holding the Bearcats to only 107 yards rushing and forcing three turnovers, two of which were interceptions. Shaquem Griffin and Errol Clarke combined for 5 sacks as the Knights pressured the Cincinnati quarterback all game long.
“It was huge. What happens is when you can’t run the ball the other team just tees off on you. Their pass rush is good– we knew going– and our offensive tackles got speed rushed,” said Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville.
The freshmen unit continued to shine as McKenzie Milton threw for 150 yards on 22/34, and at one point in the first quarter completed 13 straight passes. His solo touchdown pass was to freshman Dredrick Snelson. Finally, freshman running back Jawon Hamilton shined again rushing for 81 yards, his longest run of the game being a 25 yard touchdown early in the 4th quarter.
“McKenzie gets better every week. I thought he played more like a veteran today. He knew when to throw it away; he knew when to pull it, he made the right decisions today. You know realistically, asking him to do what he’s done as an 18 year old he’s amazing. There’s not that many guys that can do that,” said Frost.
UCF hosts Tulsa at 8pm next Saturday night at the Bright House for their final home game of the year. The Knights are projected to play in the AutoNation Cure Bowl, but if UCF continues to win, that can change.