It wasn’t an overstatement to call UCF’s game against Cincinnati on Saturday night one of the most important games in program history. After hosting College GameDay, the Knights looked to extend their 22-game winning streak and clinch a conference championship berth against the ranked Bearcats in prime time.
UCF did not disappoint, defeating Cincinnati 38-13 to move to 10-0.
The tens of thousands of fans who packed Spectrum Stadium made their presence felt immediately. To start the game, Cincinnati committed a delay of game penalty and a false start on back-to-back plays as the crowded roared louder than perhaps it ever has before.
The noise level persisted throughout the first half, and the Bearcats continued to consistently commit penalties. The Knights got a major scare on their first offensive play of the game however, when McKenzie Milton was blindsided by a sack and fumbled in his own end zone. The Bearcats recovered it to score a touchdown and take an early lead.
But that was the last time Cincinnati scored in the first half. The Bearcats missed two field goals and a PAT, fumbled and punted three times. It was unquestionably the UCF’s defense’s best performance of the season. The offense meanwhile, recovered from its disastrous first drive, scoring three times thanks to some spectacular passing from Milton. The Knights took a 21-6 lead into halftime.
In the second half, UCF’s defense continued to play the best that it had all year, consistently dominating the Cincinnati offense and allowing practically no big plays. The Knights’ offense also continued to roll, and UCF went on to earn a blowout victory.
The Knights will travel to Tampa to take on the rival USF Bulls next week.