By: Dan Wolff
ORLANDO, Fla. — UCF was firing on all cylinders Thursday night, beating FIU 61 to 17. The game started with a six play, 76-yard scoring drive that would set the tone for the day and by halftime, UCF was running away with a 40-10 lead.
“You never know exactly what you’re going to get in the first game. I think our guys were ready to play,” Coach Frost said about their hot start.
McKenzie Milton tossed a career high four touchdowns and 360 yards while giving away one interception. Three of his passes went for more than 50 yards in a display of arm strength. The line gave Milton plenty of time, which led to receivers getting lost behind the secondary. Two of those touchdowns went to standout wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith. Dredrick Snelson also had a big day catching four balls for 98 yards.
“McKenzie had a really good day, but a lot of guys on the team had a good day. I give a lot of credit to the O-line for protecting him,” said Frost.
UCF’s youth played fantastically. Gabe Davis started the game along side Tre’Quan Smith and finished with four catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. Freshman QB Noah Vedral finished the game for the Knights, proving out to be Coach Frost’s early choice as the second-string quarterback. Vedral finished 10-12 with 79 yards.
“Gabe is a grown man, he is going to do well no matter what he is doing,” said Frost on Gabe Davis’ debut as a Knight and the maturity he has displayed.
The defense played great, causing multiple turnovers that all originated from the secondary. FIU never got much going on the offense side of the ball and didn’t score their last touchdown until the last five minute of game time.
Coach Frost also credited UCF’s students, who occupied both ends of the stadium in a new seating arrangement at Spectrum Stadium, for providing an edge to his guys on the field.
“I thought the students showed up in force,” Frost said, just a day removed from his publicity tour along Greek Row to recruit attendees.
The announced attendance for tonight’s game was 38,063 – 18,756 of which were students, a new UCF record.
UCF was stronger, faster and well prepared in their opener against the Panthers, but will have a ton of growing to do for next week’s conference matchup against Memphis.
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