ORLANDO – The UCF Knights upped their winning streak to 15 by taking down South Carolina State 38-0 yesterday at Spectrum Stadium. The game drew an announced crowd of 43,269, making it the second highest attendance for a home opener in school history.
The normally proficient UCF QB McKenzie Milton threw his first interception of the season three minutes into the game. It was an uncharacteristic play by the quarterback, who threw nine interceptions all of last season. This was a surprise and a concern as the Knights were heavily favored in this game.
Otis Anderson’s 48-yard punt return set up the offense nicely on the Bulldog’s 41 yard line. This ignited the UCF bench.
Three plays and 23 seconds later, junior tailback Adrian Killins Jr. plunged into the end zone to give UCF a 7-0 lead. Killins finished as the Knights’ leading rusher with 89 yds.
Kyle Gibson picked up the ball from a blocked field goal and the redshirt senior followed a line of blockers downfield to return the football to the South Carolina State 26-yard line.
Killins pushed the lead to 14-0 with a 26-yard touchdown run, waltzing into the end zone untouched. The drive took just 35 seconds.
The Knights went on easily for the win, but had to overcome 3 Milton interceptions.
Milton went on to have a 21-of-39 passing game 243 yards and 1 touchdown, and the team was able to generate over 500 years of offense.
Milton was considered a darkhorse candidate for the Heisman Trophy before the season began but his candidacy will likely end after Saturday’s uneven performance.
“Definitely a sub-par performance today by myself and obviously the offense as well,” Milton said following the win. “You can’t turn over the ball in football games, but give a lot of credit to SC State.”
The Knights have won their first two games by a combined score of 94-17 and should remain in the Top 25. The schedule gets harder as UCF has upcoming games against North Carolina, Florida Atlantic and Pittsburgh.
The Knights will travel to North Carolina for a nonconference game next Saturday.