The Central Florida Knights are off to a roaring start to the 2017 season. With McKenzie Milton throwing for 360 yards and four touchdowns in a little more than a half, UCF rolled to a 61-17 victory of Florida International.
After Milton connected with Jordan Akins for a 22-yard score just 2:17 into the game, the Panthers briefly made a game of it. The Knights led only 14-10 early in the second quarter, but proceeded to score 40 consecutive points sandwiched around halftime to make it 54-17.
The statistics were every bit as lopsided as the final score. UCF had 31 first downs as they piled up 587 yards of total offense. The Panthers had 13 first downs and 335 yards of offense.
For Knights Coach Scott Frost, he saw a team that was ready to play. In addition to the numbers put up on offense, the UCF defense forced four turnovers.
UCF piled up 178 yards rushing among 8 players. Jawon Hamilton was the leading rusher with 57 yards and a touchdown.
“It was a good start,” said Frost. “We made some mistakes and obviously some first game things that we have to clean up. But, I saw a lot of good performances from a lot of people, so it’s a good start.”
If there was a negative, Frost could not be happy with 93 yards in penalties. That will be an area to work on for week two and beyond.
Panthers Coach Butch Davis understands his team has a lot of areas to work on. In addition to the four turnovers, his team was flagged for 153 yards in penalties and the defensive unit created only three negative plays all night.
UCF now has 8 days to prepare for their next game. They open conference play on September 9 against the Memphis Tigers at Spectrum Stadium. FIU will play their home opener on the same day against Alcorn State.