UCF Football: Knights lock up trip to 2017 AAC title game with USF win

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback McKenzie Milton
TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback McKenzie Milton /

With a trip to the AAC title game on the line, UCF football was able to knock the South Florida Bulls out of the race and cement the West.

The battle of the AAC East happened Week 13 with Memphis locked in the AAC Championship Game representing the West — USF and UCF both Florida teams did battle to having bragging rights and keep their New Year’s Six bowl hopes alive.

It a shooting from the opening kickoff quarterback Quinton Flowers went 13-for-23 passing for 348 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Yes, in the first 30 minutes of the game the senior torched the Knights secondary. The receiver who benefited from that gun slinging was Tyre McCants with six catches for 210 yards and one touchdown.

Not to be outdone quarterback McKenzie Milton went 18-for-25 passing for 162 yards and one touchdown. Milton also ran for 19 yards and one touchdown to help his team take a 21-20 lead into the half.

The second half was amazing as both teams held the lead for some period of the half. The last three minutes of the game when McKenzie Melton found Otis Anderson for a 23-yard touchdown on a screen pass to take a 42-34 lead.

It seemed as if UCF had control and then Quinton Flowers found Darnell Salomon for an 83-yard touchdown to pull the score to 42-40 and then they converted the two point conversion to tie the game at 42 (Flowers to D’Ernest Johnson).

The fireworks weren’t done as on the following kickoff Mike Hughes took it to the house from 95 yards out to make the score 49-42. Flowers still had a shot to get USF back in the game, but after completing a pass for a first down Mitchell Wilcox was stripped, UCF recovered and it was game over.

Central Florida is now 11-0 overall and the winner of the AAC East. They will face Memphis Week 14 in the AAC Championship Game.

Flowers ended the game with a school record with 605 total yards (503 passing and 102 rushing).  Milton had 373 yards passing and 56 yards rushing. Milton and Flowers both had four passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown a piece.

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South Florida finishes the regular season 9-2 overall and second in the AAC East. This game was definitely a candidate for game of the year.