Orlando, August 28, 2018 – UCF football has solidified their household name with the American Athletic Conference for a second time taking it a step further; earning the respect from the East and other highly-appraised league contenders across all conferences. With that being said, let’s dive right into what is making other organizations mark their game day calendars in preparation for UCF’s presence.
The Knights have all their pieces in order, set to kick off their first away game battling the Connecticut Huskies this Thursday night, giving fans a first taste of some fresh new jerseys and faces, commanding offensive and defensive 4-3 schemes.
Without further ado, UCF will finally be commended for their undefeated 2017 season accomplishments in glorious fashion as the NCAA record books have officially listed the Golden Knights as National Champions despite not being considered in the playoff conversation; though Crimson Tide fans up in Alabama bowing down to Nick Saban would agree to disagree after hoisting the actual Championship trophy up for all to see over Georgia.
There are some proclaimed loyal returners making their mark, also vamping the team with some fresh-legged replacements on both sides of the ball. Offensively, one leader in particular, 5’11” 185-pound incoming Junior quarterback McKenzie Milton showcased Heisman qualities last season in his sophomore debut, shattering school records throwing for 4,037 yards on 265 completions of 395 attempts, 67.1 completion percentage, with a long-ball of 80, tallying 37 passing touchdowns, 8 rushing and running for 613 yards- a new single-season record for a UCF quarterback, accumulating a 179.3 overall QBR!
Milton performed the only way he knew how with historic resilience adding to his extensive track-record with some of these honors to show for- amassed 14 consecutive games with a passing TD, which is tied for third most in program history, has a current passing efficiency of 148.81, ranking second all-time at UCF, has eight 300-yard passing games, which ranks third in program history, also has two 400-yard passing games, tying for third.
2017 American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year, was selected to The American All-Conference First Team, selected as National Player of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus with the Archie Griffin Award, put up a passing efficiency of 179.29, setting a new single-season program record- these are just a glimpse at number 10’s career accolades; the list seems to go on like a Chinese scroll and will progressively enhance as he enters his final two years, still to be engraved in the Black & Gold.
Defensively, UCF’s burning question will be the new playmakers stepping into the leadership thrown within the Linebacker core in hopes to continue the production standard that former LB Shaquem Griffin displayed, who found a new home across the country joining his brother Shaquill who was drafted the year before, as Seattle Seahawk’s 2018 5th round NFL draft selection and newest edition in the front 7.
Entirely, this 2018 season is going to be a thrilling one, a true nail-biter as the other dominating Conferences heat up, the Golden boys in Central Florida will fight to maintain their #1 spot in their respected Conference, (also) as defending Champs with a target on their backs going pound-for-pound as a talented collective unit seeking to be measured as a playoff-caliber team.
Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor