In an even bigger blowout than the 2016 matchup, the UCF Knights (1-0) managed to prove that the 2016 season wasn’t a fluke year as they beat the FIU Panthers (0-1) 61-17 in the 2017 season and home opener.
Uniform wars: Everything was planned to the point for UCF’s second season under coach Scott Frost. The game was set to begin at 6 p.m. The students were instructed to wear white. The Knights had practiced all summer long, but UCF seemed to had forgotten one very important thing. They had forgotten to request to wear the color white from FIU to match the support from the student body. As a result of forgetting to make a request early enough before the game, the Knights instead wore a combination of white and anthracite assets in their home and season opener.
Some Extra Privacy: UCF added some extra goodies to the sidelines of Spectrum Stadium Thursday night, placing a medical tent on the field. The tent joins the on-field cabanas which had already been announced and put into action.
More Revenge: In the sixth-ever meeting between UCF and FIU, the Knights showed no mercy in a final score of 61-17. UCF has now won 10 of its last 12 season openers. The only losses in the last 12 openers were the 2015 15-14 loss to the FIU Panthers and a loss in 2014. With the 2015 game still in mind, revenge didn’t stop after last year’s 53-14 blowout.
Milton Shines in Sophomore Start: UCF’s running game seemed to be a little off in the first quarter, but starting quarterback McKenzine Milton showed another reason why he belongs in the backfield. The sophomore quarterback started his 2017 campaign going 8-9 in passes, throwing for 167 yards and two touchdowns early in the game. The ninth pass-attempt was incomplete with under five minutes remaining in the first quarter. Milton tallied three touchdowns and 357 yards in the first half alone, helping him to a career high in four total touchdowns and 360 total passing yards.
Brick Wall Defense: Offense wasn’t the only headline during the night, as a strong punt by redshirt junior Mac Loudermilk trapped FIU at the one-yard line, setting up a safety recorded by junior inside linebacker Pat Jasinski and sophomore defensive lineman Trysten Hill. The two points put UCF up 23-10 and was the first safety since the Knights played East Carolina in October of 2016.
Captains: UCF sent out Loudermilk, Michael Colubiale, Taj McGowan and Rashard Causey as captains for the coin toss.
Attendance: The overall attendance at Spectrum Stadium was 38,063, but a new student attendance record was set at over 18,000.