ORLANDO (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF football team remained undefeated Saturday night, defeating SMU 48-20 at Spectrum Stadium. The Knights (5-0, 2-0 AAC) racked up 541 yards of total offense en route to the four-touchdown victory over the Mustangs (2-4, 1-1).
SMU opened the scoring, taking the opening kickoff and driving for a field goal to go on top 3-0. But the lead was short-lived, as the UCF offense stomped on the gas pedal early.
UCF moved the ball 65 yards in nine plays, capped by a 15-yard Adrian Killins touchdown run to go on top 7-3. UCF kicker Matthew Wright recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, giving the Knights great field position at the Mustangs 18-yard line. Three plays later, quarterback McKenzie Milton found wideout Dredrick Snelson in the end zone for a 14-yard scoring strike. The Knights drove it 70 yards for a touchdown on their next possession, capped by a 4-yard Otis Anderson touchdown run.
By the end of the first quarter, UCF held a 21-3 advantage. SMU came into the game having allowed just 17 points in the first quarter of its previous five games combined.
“You’ve got to be able to adjust during the course of the ballgame,” UCF head coach Josh Heupel said. “You have ideas going in and our players have adjusted really well. Our coaches adjust every single week. We did it pretty quickly (tonight), got ourselves going and scored a lot of points in the first quarter.”
A UCF miscue led to the only meaningful SMU touchdown of the evening. Milton’s pass attempt from deep in his own territory was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted, giving the Mustangs a possession at the Knights’ 9-yard line. SMU cashed in the turnover for 7 points to make it 21-10. While the Knights didn’t reach the end zone again in the second quarter, they did tack on field goals of 45 and 34 yards from Wright to take a 27-10 edge into the intermission.
UCF opened the second half with the ball and quickly extended its advantage. The Knights drove 88 yards in 11 plays. But the final yard got most of the buzz from the drive. Defensive lineman Trysten Hill, who weighs 315 pounds, entered the game on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Milton turned and handed Hill the ball and the largest man on the field powered over the line of scrimmage for the first touchdown of his life, which also gave his team a 34-10 lead.
Defensively, the Knights held SMU to just 83 yards rushing and just 320 yards total, with 80 of those coming on the Mustangs’ final possession. UCF spent plenty of time in the SMU backfield, racking up 12 tackles-for-loss, including 3.0 from defensive end Titus Davis, who also tallied a sack. Nate Evans and Richie Grant led all UCF defenders with eight stops apiece.
“We created pressure, we were assignment-sound, gap-sound,” Heupel said of his defense. “When you do that, you’re going to be in a position to make a play. Now you’ve got a bunch of guys coming to make the play and that’s what you saw all night long.”
Tre Nixon and Anderson each added fourth quarter scores to push UCF over the 40-point mark for the 13th time in the last 18 games. The Knights have now scored 30 points or more in 18 straight contests.
Killins led the way for UCF on offense, recording 113 yards rushing on a career-high 20 carries with one touchdown. Anderson rushed for 74 yards on six carries with two scores and added a reception for 13 yards. Milton finished the night 18-of-34 for 278 yards and two TDs.