After opening their season with a blowout 61-17 win over FIU, the UCF Knights (1-0) will face a much tougher team in week two. The Memphis Tigers (1-0) travel to Orlando this Friday at 6:30 PM for the Knight’s first AAC matchup of the season.
Freshman Power: Although sophomore quarterback McKenzie Milton was the starter for the Knights last Thursday, he was not the only UCF quarterback to play against FIU. UCF added true freshman Noah Vedral to the offense this season, and the Nebraska native has quickly learned the offensive system and had an impressive fall camp.
“I feel like Noah is very vocal,” redshirt-junior wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith said. “For a freshman, even when we are in practice he knows how to take control of the offense, you know, he’s not a quiet guy, and makes sure that we are doing well.”
In his debut Thursday, Vedral went 10-12 and threw for 79 yards.
“I thought Noah had a good first day,” coach Scott Frost said. “He’s obviously very new to what we are doing, but went in other than his first throw, which wasn’t on target I thought he played really well.”
Fan Frenzy: A big win on the field was not the only place that the UCF Football program saw success in last Thursday’s season opener, as a record number of fans came to cheer on the Black and Gold. The overall attendance at Spectrum Stadium was 38,063, but a new student attendance record was set at over 18,000. With the home crowd behind them, many of the Knights’ players credited their high energy to the large fan presence at Spectrum Stadium.
“We love playing at home,” junior linebacker Pat Jasinski said. “Our fans are great and in our stadium just you couldn’t ask for anything better. We love playing here and I think it is an advantage playing a home conference game.”
Conference Clash: Last season, the Knights did not have a conference game until week five, but this year a conference game with Memphis in week two will surely put UCF on their toes quite early on in the season.
“They [Memphis] are a well-rounded team,” Frost said. “The type of team I don’t think we could’ve beat last year.”
Coming out of camp healthy, and opening week one with such a statement, the Knights are confident that they will match up well with the Tigers.
“Our goal is conference championship,” redshirt-senior offensive lineman Aaron Evans said. “Every game is vital to winning. Our ultimate goal is to go to a big bowl, everything, so like every game is super important, very, very important.”