No. 19 UCF routs SC State 38-0 for 15th straight victory
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — On a night when quarterback McKenzie Milton wasn’t at his best, No. 19 UCF got it done with rushing and defense to beat South Carolina State 38-0 and extend its winning streak to 15 games.
Adrian Killins Jr. scored on runs of 3 and 24 yards in the first quarter. Greg McCrae rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown, and Otis Anderson added 42 yards and a touchdowns as UCF (2-0) racked up 315 rushing yards.
“We’ve got a deep pool of backs all of whom have something a little bit different in their skill set,” UCF coach Josh Heupel said. “But they all have some similar traits. They did a good job of going north and south.”
Milton struggled and threw three interceptions in the first half. He was 21 of 39 for 243 yards with a touchdown pass to Gabriel Davis in the third quarter.
“I didn’t get into a good rhythm and I missed some easy throws,” Milton said. “It was definitely a subpar performance by myself and the offense.”
Milton threw his first interceptions of the season and his first since the 2017 American Athletic championship game.
“There’s going to be nights where you’re a little bit out of rhythm,” Heupel said. “But he’s a really good player. He missed a couple of throws but he made some big plays too.”
Davis had nine catches for 111 yards, the first 100-yard game of his career.
“I’m happy I had a good game but I thought we could have done some better things on offense,” Davis said. “We started off real slow. A 100-yard game is nice but I’d like to see us do better on offense.”
UCF held South Carolina State (0-2) to 80 yards passing and 257 total yards. South Carolina State quarterback Tyrece Nick was 5 of 12 for 54 yards and an interception. Backup Dewann Ford threw two interceptions.
SAME AS IT EVER WAS
It was the first shutout for UCF since Sept. 3, 2016 when the Knights shut out South Carolina State by a similar 38-0 score in Scott Frost’s coaching debut with UCF.
EYES TO THE SKY
UCF is scheduled to play North Carolina next Saturday in Chapel Hill but the direction of Hurricane Florence could force a change of plans. The current forecast has Florence tracking toward the Carolinas. UCF had to cancel games against Georgia Tech and Maine last season because of Hurricane Irma. They were later able to schedule FCS opponent Austin Peay to make up for one of the cancellations. “I’m not too aware of it,” Heupel said. “I’ve heard and from this far away you don’t know what’s going to happen so you prepare and get ready to go play.”
South Carolina State: Alex Brown, Chris Adams and Lane Jones had interceptions.
UCF: Milton was considered a darkhorse candidate for the Heisman Trophy before the season began but his candidacy will likely end after Saturday’s uneven performance. The Knights, however, had more than enough depth and talent on both sides of the ball to enjoy an easy win.
The Knights have won their first two games by a combined score of 94-17 and should remain in the Top 25. The schedule gets harder as UCF has upcoming games against North Carolina, Florida Atlantic and Pittsburgh.
South Carolina State: North Carolina Central visits Orangeburg for the Bulldogs‘ MEAC opener next Saturday night.
UCF: The Knights will travel to North Carolina for a nonconference game next Saturday.