Yes, we are nowhere near the time to be paying close attention to who will be in the running for college football’s prestigious Heisman Trophy award, but someone being grossly underrated in the running for it is University of Central Florida quarterback McKenzie Milton. It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster for the Knights to start off the season and losing a regular season contest against North Carolina hurts in several factors, including Milton’s candidacy for the Heisman.

Through three games so far, Milton has thrown for 895 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions. That last line of three interceptions hurt, as Milton threw all three of them in a home victory against FBS South Carolina State. Voters will nit pick and rightfully so, as the likes of Alabama’s Tua Tagovialoa, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and West Virginia’s Will Grier are not having lowly performances against schools they should be dominating.

The No. 13 Knights come into this weekend’s non-conference matchup against Pittsburgh needing not only a convincing victory against a Power 5 school, but also one that voters on both sides of the ballot can believe UCF is deserving of consideration for the College Football Playoff. If Milton’s huge 2017 campaign wasn’t enough to propel the Knights in, what will be?

UCF’s remaining schedule and how they win is what will remain the deciding factor on if the Knights get the respect they’ve longed for since defeating Auburn 34-27 in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. The team has paraded around as national champions and one poll even conceded to placing the Knights ahead of the Crimson Tide in the final rankings.

What everyone will remember more, however, is a true national championship won through the College Football Playoff and if anyone has to play on fire though these remaining eight games, it’s Milton. The Peach Bowl Offensive MVP has eight games to prove he’s a viable candidate for the Heisman Trophy and the Knights a contenders for the national championship. It all starts 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Spectrum Stadium.

About The Author

Andy Villamarzo has covered high school and youth sports for the Tampa Bay Times and The Tampa Tribune as a correspondent since 2008. He is a native of Holiday, FL, who graduated from Gulf High School and studied at St. Petersburg College. He has covered various prep, collegiate and professional athletes throughout his writing career, including Josh Johnson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Patrick Schuster (Arizona Diamondbacks) and currently writes for other publications like The Suncoast News, Friday Night Football Magazine and TopDrawerSoccer.com.

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