Jacksonville Sports Day

UCF: Knights Rout ECU 63-21 on Homecoming

ORLANDO, Fla. — UCF came into the weekend leading the nation in scoring and proved why on Saturday night against ECU.

The Knights racked up exactly 600 yards of total offense in a 63-21 rout of the Pirates.

“I was really pleased tonight. We didn’t play a perfect game, but we’ve been challenging the guys not to be reading articles about themselves and taking anybody for granted,” said UCF head coach Scott Frost. “They responded with a great week of practice and a pretty good performance tonight. We’ve got quite a few guys that are playing pretty well and it’s fun to watch.”

QB McKenzie Milton threw for 324 yards on 21-of-27 passing with two touchdowns in the air. The sophomore strolled into the end zone in the second quarter for his first rushing touchdown of the season.

The Knights (5-0, 3-0) found the end zone on offense, defense and special teams for the first time this season and the first time since defeating ECU 47-29 last season in Greenville, N.C.

For the first time since the 1998 season, the Knights have recorded more than 500 yards of offense in three consecutive games.

Against the Pirates, UCF tallied 365 yards through the air and 235 on the ground. Seven different players scored an offensive touchdown. The Knights finished with seven plays of 20 yards or more.

The defense wouldn’t be outdone, setting the tone early in the first half by stopping ECU (1-6, 1-3) on its first four third-down conversion attempts.

The Knights shut down the pass-heavy Pirates offense that came in averaging 307 yards per game to just 160 yards in the air, including 88 in the first half.

“I thought the defense played hard and played well. (ECU’s) got a good offensive football team and they hit a couple of things on us, but that’s going to happen. I know Coach Chinander was disappointed in the one long run,” Frost added. “We played one run wrong and then missed a few tackles on one play and that’s not characteristic of our defense. Those guys have been tackling really well. So, other than a couple of things, I thought they played exceptionally well.”

Tre Neal put the defensive points on the board, wtih a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Mike Hughes added a 66-yard punt return down the sideline for a touchdown in the third.

The Knights hit the road for an American Athletic Conference at Navy Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

“It’s going to be a challenge. This is a unique challenge in college football. Like I said on the field, I have so much respect for what Navy does and who they are,” Frost said of UCF’s next opponent. “Ken (Niumatalolo) does a great job with them.”

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