The UCF Knights (1-0) started their 2019 season with a 62-0 rout over Florida A&M (0-1) at Spectrum Stadium in front of 44,073.
Knights Head Coach Josh Heupel successfully got work for his competing quarterbacks, and they proved their work quickly, and dominantly.
Starter Brandon Wimbush struck quick with a 37 yard pass to Gabriel Davis for a touchdown on the opening drive that lasted a mere 1 minute 4 seconds. Wimbush would connected on 5 of his first eight passes and had a strong night, passing 12 for 23 for 168 yards and 2 touchdowns.
“It felt great. I was excited to finally get out there and get out of the red jersey. It felt good to experience getting hit for the first time in a while.”
But he that there was room for improvement even though UCF won easily. Wimbush did miss some open deep receivers, and left some points on the field.
“You keep building and you go back to the drawing board and you see where you left yards out on the field,” Wimbush said. “I think we can throw the ball better and [have] more of a passing attack.”
Freshman Dillon Gabriel was impressive with his poise as he went 9 of 13 for 127 yards and 3 touchdown in his debut. In one play, Gabriel found multi-faceted back Otis Anderson open for a 24 yard touchdown in the 1st quarter.
“I thought for his first time out there being a true freshman, he managed everything and handled it really well,” said Knights Head Coach Heupel of Gabriel, “He did a good job in our pass game. Overall pleased with what he did.”
Heupel starts his second season at the UCF helm strong, winning the Knight’s 16th straight win at Spectrum Stadium to start the program’s 40th season.
The game wasn’t all about the pass, as UCF running back Adrian Killins led the UCF rushing attack with 106 of the team’s 338 yards and a touchdown in the 2nd quarter.
The UCF defense also had a strong night. They managed to hold FAMU to 96 yards of total offense and Rattlers QB Ryan Stanley was held to a 7-24, 52 yard night with one sack. FAMU was forced to punt 13 times in the game.
A sad note to the game was a serious injury to starting cornerback Brandon Moore in the third quarter. Moore chased down a possible interception and his leg was trapped underneath him as he was tackled out of bounds.
As the UCF medical team worked on Moore for more than 10 minutes in what seemed like a serious leg injury, the Knights come from their sideline and surrounded Moore to give him support.
Moore’s leg was stabilized and waved to the crowd as he was carted off the field on a gurney.
The game was well in hand and many were questioning why Moore was even on the field.
“We have a play count for each player and, obviously I hate that it happened. Hind sight is 20-20.” said Heupel. “There’s no better kid in out program”
The Knights next head down to Boca Raton to take on FAU next Saturday.