UCF outlasts USF in War on I-4 Stays Unbeaten
In what was the biggest game in UCF history the teams did not disappoint. First, off getting to see Quinton Flowers play, I can say thank god he will not be facing us anymore. The kid is a straight up baller his final stats from last night were unreal. Passing he was 24-45, 4 TDs, 503 yards. and 1 INT (which was a 50/50 ball before half). Running was 20 carries for 135 yards and 1 TD. He literally dominated the game for USF. Also, Tyre McCants set the USF single-game receiving record with 9 Catches for 227 Yards. That was just USF’s side of the ball. McKenzie Milton also had a stellar game for the Knights. In addition to Shaquem Griffin who led the Knights in tackles and was the one who fell on the fumble to seal the victory.
The fans listened to the pleas of the other fans and arrived at the game early and in bunches. When all was said and done they had packed the stadium to the tune of 47,129 3rd highest at Spectrum and 5th overall for UCF. The fans were even felt during the Knight Walk earlier in the day when a player was quoted as saying “this is lit”. The fans pulled off the biggest support job of the season. And the team needed every one of those 47,000 people. Even to the point where the phone lights before kickoff are getting special coverage. UCF and their fans showed the college world that Orlando is a happening place.
Now to the game USF took advantage on their first series and struck first on a 47-yard screen pass to McCants. UCF would respond right back with a 9 play 68-yard drive to tie the game up at 7. South Florida would drive again only to be shut down on downs. UCF would answer back with another touchdown this time to Dredrick Snelson. The Knights were up 14-7 and the next USF series would end in a missed field goal. Once again UCF would drive going 76 yards for another touchdown this time on a run.
With the score sitting at 21-7 USF needed an answer but instead went 3 and out. UCF had a chance to really put the heat on with another score. But ultimately ended up punting on a 3 and out of their own. This time USF would take it 91 yards for the score but would miss an extra point making it 21-13. Three more drives of punting to each other and USF would strike again before the half on a 21-yard pass to Mitch Wilcox. UCF would have a chance to get on the board before the half but would end up punting. Flowers trying to give USF the lead before the half ends up throwing a pick and to the half we went.
Start the 3rd quarter and UCF had the ball they were moving the ball but then turned it over on downs. USF would take over at their own 28 and would end up losing 7 yards and punting. UCF would take full advantage of this and extend their lead to 28-20. Right back at it 11 plays and 78 yards USF is back to 28-27. At this point I thought was the turning point in the game Milton throws a pick and USF scores quickly to make it 34-28. This UCF team had not trailed in a game in the second half all season and here they are down 6.
A couple more punts and here we are in the 4th quarter. It would be the 2nd touchdown for Dredrick Snelson’s day a 45 yarder that would put the Knights back ahead. UCF’s Defense would hold again forcing a punt. To which UCF would come out and quickly go down the field and extend the lead to 8. This is the start of the craziest 53 seconds of football. Now with UCF up 8 and 2:12 seconds left USF needed a Touchdown and a 2 point conversion to tie. After a 4-yard rush which was negated by holding Quinton Flowers hit a wide open Darnel Salomen for 87 yards and a touchdown. Followed-up by a wide open 2 point conversion to D’Ernest Johnson to tie the game.
Now with only 88 seconds left in regulation, the Kick Return heard around the world. Mike Hughes takes it 95 yards to the end zone to give UCF the 49-42 victory.
At the beginning of the year, the media had a preseason poll of who would win the east and who would win the west division. It was unanimous on the East side USF was going to breeze through and win it all. Everyone had counted the Knights out except for me back in July I wrote an article for each AAC team and predicted it would come down to Black Friday and that the Knights would come out victorious. Well here it is and the Knights unbeaten on the season are playing for the Conference Championship. What a game and what a season by this Knights team. PS Get Your Own Coach ours is staying.