Saturday afternoon’s matchup with Navy was every bit as tough as expected for No. 20 UCF, but the Knights prevailed by a score of 31-21.
Just when the Midshipmen (5-2, 3-2 AAC) were threatening to take a late lead, redshirt freshman Brandon Moore came up with a big hit to force a fumble. The Knights (6-0, 4-0 AAC) then iced the game with a 54-yard scoring drive that ended with a 10-yard touchdown run from freshman Otis Anderson. Moore later came up with a game-clinching interception.
The Knights got out to a perfect start on the afternoon, putting together a 10-play, 64-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead. Then, the defense came up with a quick stop, forcing a quick punt by the Midshipmen.
But before UCF could really take control, Navy stepped up for a fight. The Knights got a scare in the second quarter when sophomore quarterback McKenzie Milton came up limping, which stopped a drive. On the following possession, junior Zach Abey got Navy’s triple option offense rolling, tying the game at 7-7.
UCF survived that aforementioned scare, though, as Milton returned on the next drive. A 58-yard kick return by junior Mike Hughes set the Knights up with good field position before Milton led the offense down the field. Sophomore Adrian Killins capped off the drive with a 15-yard touchdown run to put UCF back on top heading into the break. The seven-point halftime lead was the smallest of the year for the Knights.
The Midshipmen came out with a quick 75-yard touchdown pass to start the second half, but the Knights quickly regained the lead on a 79-yard touchdown run by Killins. After Abey left with an injury, UCF’s defense stepped up. Redshirt junior Matthew Wright later added a 35-yard field goal to pad the lead.
Navy fought back with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive to cut the UCF lead to 24-21. Milton responded with a rare mistake, throwing an interception near midfield. But from there, it was the UCF defense’s turn to step up and save the day.
Milton finished the afternoon 15-of-23 for 233 yards and a touchdown, while Killins ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Anderson quietly had a nice day, putting up 56 yards and a touchdown on the ground in addition to 47 receiving yards.
UCF’s victory snapped Navy’s 17-game home regular season winning streak. The 6-0 start is the Knights’ first in school history.
UCF returns home to Spectrum Stadium next Saturday (Oct. 28) for a 5 p.m. matchup with Austin Peay.