Defense, 24-Fourth Qtr. Points Propel UCF Knights To 47-29 Win On Road At East Carolina

By  //  October 2, 2016


ABOVE VIDEO: The UCF Knights traveled up to Greenville and get a big conference win over ECU.

(UCF KNIGHTS) – For the first time in nearly six years, the UCF football team scored in all phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams.

It showed on the scoreboard, as the total team effort led to a 47-29 victory over East Carolina Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Adrian Killins got the scoring started for the Knights with a 100-yard kickoff return to tie the game early in the second quarter.

The defense was next, recording a safety to give the Knights a 9-7 lead. Finally, the offense got into the act when Dontravious Wilson scored the first of his two TDs late in the second period.

“That was just a great team win,” said head coach Scott Frost.

“When a team can battle like we did and make plays on offense, defense and special teams, it was just a wonderful team win for our program.”

After a scoreless first quarter, ECU jumped on top early in the second frame when Philip Nelson connected with Deondre Farrier on a 16-yard touchdown pass. The lead was short-lived, however.

Killins took the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to even things at 7-7 with 11:21 left in the second period. It matched a school record and was the first time a kick return went back 100 yards for UCF since 1994.

Killins is the fourth Knight to accomplish that feat.

Special teams continued to impact the game later in the second quarter. A 70-yard Caleb Houston punt pinned the Pirates at their own 2-yard line.

On the next play, linebacker Mark Rucker stopped ECU’s Devin Anderson in the end zone for a safety, giving UCF a 9-7 lead. An ECU special teams mistake following the safety was also impactful.

The Pirates free kick went out of bounds, giving the Knights possession at the 50-yard line. Three plays later, Wilson toted the pigskin for 35 yards and a score, giving UCF a 16-7 lead that they took into the locker room at intermission.

ABOVE VIDEO: Hear what coach Frost and the players said about the Knights’ 47-29 win against the ECU Pirates.

The Knights’ defense made a string of big plays to start the second half. Back-to-back sacks and a tackle for-loss gave ECU minus-22 yards on their first possession of the third quarter.

UCF took over at the Pirate 35-yard line after a short punt. Two plays later, freshman Jawon Hamilton went in from two yards out to put UCF up 23-7 just 2:30 into the second half.

An ECU touchdown pass with 4:23 left in the third quarter, pulled the Pirates back within 23-14. ECU backup quarterback Gardner Minshew entered the game for an injured Nelson. His short pass on the sideline to Quay Johnson went 75 yards for a touchdown to pull the Pirates back within two, 23-21, after three quarters.

A 40-yard strike from Justin Holman to Jordan Franks put the Knights in position to answer. On the next play, Wilson went up the middle for 14 yards and UCF led 30-21 with 14:20 remaining in the game.

For the first time in nearly six years, the UCF football team scored in all phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams. (YouTube image)

The Knights’ defense came up with a huge play on the ensuing possession. Brendon Hayes intercepted Minshew at the ECU 4-yard line and rolled into the end zone for a TD to make it 37-21.

“A lot of teams when they give up a lead like that, they can implode,” Frost said. “Our team answered the bell again and scored, then defense scored.When our guys come out, answer the bell like that and come out scoring even when things go wrong, that’s going to work well for us this year.”

UCF added a field goal and the two teams traded TDs in the last 1:14 to account for the final tally, 47-29.


UCFast Scores:

The Knights’ scoring drives Saturday took 56, 23, 53, 15, 74 and 20 seconds.

The first TD came on a 100-yard kickoff return and two other scores came from the defense.

UCFierce Scores:
The defense was responsible for two scores Saturday.

Linebacker Mark Rucker caught an ECU running back in the end zone for a safety in the second quarter.

In the fourth quarter, defensive lineman Brendon Hayes intercepted a Minshew pass at the ECU 4-yard line and strolled into the end zone for a touchdown.

The Knights also continued their onslaught of the opponents’ backfield. UCF tallied five sacks and nine tackles for-loss.