ORLANDO, Fla. — UCF Football set a school record with 73 points Saturday night against the Austin Peay Governors. The 73 points are the second most in FBS this season and mark the first time in school history that UCF has scored fifty-plus points in four games.
What went right?
Momentum-changing plays helped the Knights propel and crush Austin Peay. Junior defensive back Mike Hughes had a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
“Mike’s been an unbelievable addition to our team, and he continues to make plays on defense and special teams, said head coach Scott Frost. “We’re really lucky to have him on the team, and he is one of our best players.”
Red-shirt senior linebacker Shaquem Griffin has his first ever touchdown on a 20-yard fumble recovery.
“The excitement I have to score a touchdown for the first time is amazing,” Griffin said. “To be honest, I can’t even put it into words. I was just so happy just to do it in front of the student section. I was just going crazy.”
Griffin was so filled with emotion that he ran 10-plus yards pass the goal line.
“I didn’t know what to do with my legs at that point,” Griffin explained. “So, I just kept going. It was so exciting. I loved every moment of it.”
Junior linebacker Titus Davis recorded his first ever interception. He almost scored, but fumbled the ball at the 2-yard line while attempting to reach the ball over the goal line.
“For my first pick, I didn’t know what to do,” Davis said. “So, I tried to lay out there and get it in. I tried to do my best.”
UCF’s offense moved the ball well and had 27 first downs while driving up and down the field.
McKenzie Milton had another efficient game at quarterback. The sophomore went 24-26 for 275 yards and three touchdowns in only three-quarters of play.
“Offensively, I don’t think we were at our best, but it’s hard to say that when we move the ball like we did,” said head coach Scott Frost. “So, I think those guys did their job. As a team, we just need to be more discipline and more dialed into our assignment and the things we’re not supposed to be doing.”
What went wrong?
UCF’s defense had arguably their worst game of the season. Red-shirt junior Kyle Gibson was ejected from the game in the second quarter after throwing an elbow to the head of Austin Peay’s quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall, who was attempting to slide. Frost then got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for arguing the targeting call with the referees.
“We weren’t disciplined,” Frost said. “We thought that we had the guys ready, but apparently, the message did not get through, and that’s our fault as a coaching staff. The score ended up being one-sided, but I think they played a great game. I give them a ton of credit.”
The Knights’ defense allowed 352 total offensive yards to FCS opponent Austin Peay. In the first half, the Knights missed some key tackles, which led to long gains by the Governors. Austin Peay had 240 yards in kickoff yardage.
“I don’t know, but our team has tackled as well as any team that we’ve been on the field with this year, up to this point,” Frost said. “I don’t think we tackled as well as we can tonight. So, whatever it is, we’ll go back to work on Monday, and first thing we’ll do is block and tackle circuit and try to get it fixed.”