UCF Extends Winning Streak to 21 With 52-40 Shootout Win Over Temple on National Stage

By  //  November 2, 2018

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game featured 92 points, 1,300 yards of total offense

ABOVE VIDEO: In a game that featured 92 points and 1,300 yards of total offense, No. 9 UCF outlasted Temple 52-40 at Spectrum Stadium Thursday night.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – In a game that featured 92 points and 1,300 yards of total offense, No. 9 UCF outlasted Temple 52-40 at Spectrum Stadium Thursday night.

The victory put the Knights in sole possession of first place in the American Athletic Conference East Division.

Junior McKenzie Milton returned to the starting quarterback position after missing UCF’s last outing vs. East Carolina. He was 17-of-33 for 312 yards and three touchdowns. Michael Colubiale caught two of Milton’s 17 completions, but both were for touchdowns.

“Whenever McKenzie is back there he does a great job and we always know the offense is going to roll, no matter what,” Colubiale said. “But it meant a lot tonight, he showed he could throw the ball down the field a lot.”

UCF was very balanced on offense, racking up 318 yards rushing and 312 passing. Sophomore running back Greg McCrae led the ground attack with 188 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.

ABOVE VIDEO: UCF Players speak to the media following their win over Temple. 

“He runs really hard and I think he helps our offense out a lot,” Colubiale said.

“But I think one thing that helps our offense (as well) is the offensive line. They opened up some big holes for him [McCrae] to run through. And he just does a good job getting those extra yards.”

While the Knights’ offense was on fire, Temple was red hot as well, putting up 670 yards. The difference in the ballgame came down to the UCF defense making plays when they absolutely had to. Both teams scored on eight possessions.

However, the Owls were forced to settle for a pair of field goals, when touchdowns may have made the difference. The Black & Gold defenders also rose up in a key situation in the fourth quarter.

A Temple touchdown with 9:44 remaining in the game pulled the Owls within two points, 42-40. Temple’s two-point conversion attempt was foiled by senior defensive lineman A.J. Wooten and senior defensive back Kyle Gibson, preserving the lead for UCF.

ABOVE VIDEO: UCF Head Coach Josh Heupel speaks with the media after his teams win over Temple.

The Knights’ offense responded with a six-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that gave the Knights a two-score advantage, 49-40, with 8:16 remaining. Senior running back Taj McGowan capped the drive with a 10-yard burst to paydirt, one of his two rushing TDs in the contest.

For the second time in the last three games, the Knights found themselves trailing at halftime.

Temple scored late in the first half to take a 34-28 edge at the intermission. But the Knights responded in the third quarter, as usual. A McCrae 32-yard TD run and a 19-yard Milton-to-Colubiale TD pass put the Knights on top 42-34 heading into the final frame.

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“I think our team is competitive calm,” head coach Josh Heupel said of how they handled trailing at the half. “They are willing to come out and continue to play and compete. I think we have smart players that, when we make adjustments as coaches, they’re able to go out and execute those things and do it at a really high level.”

UCF has outscored its opponents 87-16 in the third quarter this season.