Knights tame Bearcats, clinch American Athletic Championship berth

The pressure has been on the Knights all season long. After all, they’ve kind of brought it upon themselves.

That pressure only increased with the added attention of College GameDay, and the prime time ABC slot Saturday night against the Cincinnati Bearcats. In all, it still wasn’t enough to slow down the red hot Knights, who extended the nation’s longest active winning streak to 23 games.

Things got off to a bit of a “Knightmare-ish” start when Cincinnati’s Kimoni Fitz recovered a McKenzie Milton fumble in the end zone on the Knights first play from scrimmage. But the real Knightmare was the Cincinnati special teams. After missing the opening scores extra point, Bearcat place kicker Cole Smith proceed to miss a 38-yard field goal, and later, had his second attempt blocked.

Meanwhile, McKenzie Milton was just finding his groove, completing 70% of his second quarter passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns. The Knights held a 21-6 halftime lead, despite only holding the ball for 8:31.

Milton threw his third touchdown, a 42-yard swing pass to the speedy Adrian Killins, midway through the third quarter. It was Killins second touchdown reception of the night.

The 47,795 in attendance could finally rest easy when sophomore running back Greg McCrae capped off another short, quick drive with a 9-yard touchdown run early in the 4th quarter. The Knights relinquished their only points defensively in garbage time on a Tavion Thomas 1-yard touchdown run for the Bearcats.

A late field goal by UCF’s Matthew Wright, would secure the Knights 38-13 victory – as well as the American Athletic Conference Eastern Division Championship.

The win streak will remain intact heading in to next week, as the Knights travel to Tampa for the War on I-4, and a date with the South Florida Bulls.

The night capped off what was truly a magical weekend on the UCF campus. One in which they proved once again they are not only capable of talking the talk, but also, walking the walk.


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Written by Nick Moore

Nick Moore is a sports contributor at Central Florida Lifestyle. He is an alumni of the University of Florida, where he graduated with honors from the School of Health and Human Performance - Sports Management.
Nick has been in the media industry for 13 years, serving a variety of roles in both the business and production aspects. His well-rounded work history is a testament to his belief that you can never learn too much, and the best learning comes through doing.

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