UCF returned to the field on Friday night for the first time since Sept. 8, welcoming FAU to Spectrum Stadium. After 30 minutes of play, the Knights led 21-17. Here, we have three halftime takeaways:
FAU’s defense brought it
The Knights started fast, scoring touchdowns on their first two drives. But after McKenzie Milton found Dredrick Snelson for the second score, UCF suffered a big blow. Redshirt senior Wyatt Miller had to be helped off the field with an injury. He failed to return in the half.
As a result, Milton faced constant pressure from the Owl defense. The junior quarterback was forced to scramble away from defenders and got hit as he threw on several occasions. Officially, FAU registered one sack and five quarterback hits. To Milton’s credit, he still completed 11 of his 17 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns. He moved the Knights 78 yards down the field in just over a minute at the end of the first half to take the lead into the locker room.
UCF’s defense got pushed around
Randy Shannon’s defense only gave up 17 points in the first half, but after a strong start, the group got ran over. The passing game was largely ineffective for the Owls, but Devin Singletary got things going on the ground. He ran for 70 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 carries to get his team back in the game. Through 30 minutes, UCF’s defense gave up 17 points and 184 yards.
The Knights had several opportunities to get off the field, but their missed tackles and costly penalties kept the FAU offense going. In the first half, the Owls were four-of-10 on third down and two-of-two on fourth. Going forward, there won’t be a lot of concerns about the Knights on offense. As far as the defense is concerned, there will be definitely some questions to answer.
Knight Nation didn’t disappoint
Spectrum Stadium filled in quite nicely as the first quarter progressed, which made for another strong showing by the UCF faithful. Dating back to last season, this was the fourth straight game that the “Bounce House” has been full and rocking. Even with a 7 p.m. kickoff on a Friday night, the fans showed up. Students piled in early and by the thousands before the rest of the crowd came through as the game got going. The official attendance will be announced in the second half.