The stage was set Saturday night for No. 11 UCF to display themselves in front of the college football world that they belong in any such conversation as a team in the hunt for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Hosting the No. 24 ranked Cincinnati Bearcats at Spectrum Stadium, the Knights made sure not to disappoint anyone and backed up the talk.

Just days after Knights’ quarterback McKenzie Milton said that UCF is better than No. 4 ranked Notre Dame, he threw for 268 yards, three touchdowns and ran for another one as he led his team to a dominating 38-13 victory over Cincinnati. The victory gives UCF some kind of chance to move up in the CFP rankings, as the Knights’ overall strength of schedule has hurt the team.

”The whole weekend was a great opportunity for us to introduce ourselves,” UCF coach Josh Heupel said. ”I think it’s the first chance some people have had to see our university, see the great players we have, the passion of our fans and the atmosphere in our stadium. I hope they like what they saw.”

Whether or not people liked what they saw, no one can argue with the results, as UCF extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 23 games in the process. It would be Heupel’s offense that would lead the way as they have all season long, with the Knights racking up 402 yards and getting the solid night from Milton.

The signal caller wouldn’t be alone when it comes to piling up the yards, with running backs Taj McGowan and Greg McCrae rushing for 50 and 41 yards, respectively. UCF’s defense made sure they came to the party as they forced the Bearcats to turnover the football four times on the night, all four times being fumbles.

”It’s been a long time coming, a game of this magnitude,” Milton said of the big matchup.

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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