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2019 Wiki Project - UCF
UCFUniversity of Central FloridaUCF AmericanAmerican Athletic ConferenceAmerican Year Founded: 1963 Program History:
1979–1981 (Division III Independent)
1982–1989 (Division II Independent)
1990–1995 (Division I-AA Independent)
1996–2001 (Division I-A Independent)
2002–2004 (Mid American Conference)
2005–2012 (Conference USA)
2013–present (American Athletic Conference)
Location: Orlando, FL Total Attendance: 68,571 (Fall 2018) Nickname: Knights Mascot:Knightro Live Mascots:Pegasus and the UCF Knight, and Knugget Stadium: Spectrum Stadium Outside, Field Stadium Capacity: 44,206 Conference Champions: 6 — 2007 (C-USA), 2010 (C-USA), 2013 (American), 2014 (American), 2017 (American), and 2018 (American) Number of Bowl Games: 10 (4–6) National Titles: 1 (2017)
There is a lot of positivity in Orlando going into the Knights’ 2019 season. Many of UCF’s producers on offense in 2018 are returning, including the three-man RB core of Otis Anderson, Greg McCrae, and Adrian Killins Jr, and top WRs Gabriel Davis and Tre Nixon. They also return all-AAC first team players OT Jake Brown, G Jordan Johnson, and C Cole Schneider. On defense, all-AAC first-teamers LB Nate Evans, CB Nevelle Clarke, and S Richie Grant, as well as DL Brendon Hayes and CB Brandon Moore are returning. However, there were also a lot of key losses, none more devastating than losing team leader QB McKenzie Milton for the season due to a major injury he suffered at the end of last season. Other key players leaving are TE Michael Colubiale, DL Titus Davis, DT Trysten Hill, LB Pat Jasinski, OT Wyatt Miller, WR Dredrick Snelson, and K Matthew Wright, While not a season-ending injury, UCF’s woes at QB got worse when Darriel Mack Jr., Milton’s backup last season and potential starting QB this season, broke his ankle during a non-football activity in early July and is expected to miss at least some time in the regular season. Luckily, former Notre Dame QB Brandon Wimbush transferred to UCF in January, which lessens the loss of Mack a bit.
## 2019 Gameday Experience Welcome to the open-ended interview for the 2019 Summer Wiki Project! This year we're going to talk about Gameday experience, and anyone is welcome to answer these questions in the comments.
What is the best place to eat at during game day?
What is the best place to drink at during game day?
Where is the best place to take a photo on campus/around the stadium?
What landmark(s) do people need to visit when seeing your school?
What traditions are of utmost importance during game day?
If someone were to visit your campus during one rivalry game, what game should it be and why does it make your team's atmosphere amplified?
What random trivia fact do most people not know about your school?
Where are the best places to park around your team's stadium on gameday?
What chants or cheers should visiting fans be familiar with at your school?
How long is the daily gameday experience at your school? Are there major events or experiences before/afterward to keep in mind?
With head coach Scott Frost departing the Knights’ for Nebraska after two seasons as head coach, Missouri offensive coordinator and former Heisman finalist Josh Heupel came in to take over both as head coach and offensive coordinator. There was also a massive turnover in the coaching department as a whole as the majority of UCF’s coaches in 2017 left for Nebraska along with Frost. Perhaps the most notable name joining the coaching staff outside of Heupel was former Florida defensive coordinator Randy Shannon, who joined the Knights in the same position. UCF also lost many key contributors from 2017, including TE Jordan Akins, LB Shaquem Griffin, CB/KR Mike Hughes, and WR Tre’Quan Smith. Despite these players leaving, there was still plenty of talent coming back for 2018. The team was led by the team’s de facto captain junior QB McKenzie Milton, who continued to post massive numbers en route to a sixth-place finish in Heisman voting, tying Daunte Culpepper’s 1998 season for the highest Heisman finish in program history. While the Knights weren’t unable to achieve another perfect season, this was still one of the program’s best seasons. UCF had another perfect regular season and win in the conference championship game, extending their win streak to 25. UCF won most of its games in convincing fashion, with eight being by 20+ points and a further two by double digits. The Knights also made history as they became the 27th top-level (FBS or its equivalent) college football team to have a winning streak of at least 25 games, tied for the 22nd-longest in FBS history. The streak was also the longest active winning streak at all NCAA levels at one point. They also have an ongoing streak of 26 games where they have scored 30+ points, the longest such streak by a top-level team in the AP era (1936–present). Coincidentally, the previous record holder was South Florida, UCF’s major rival, and the Knights tied them with their victory over them in the War on I-4.
The Knights picked up right where they left off in 2017 left off and continued their 13-game winning streak from 2017 by winning their first two games against UConn and South Carolina State. The season hit a snag during Week 3 as their game against North Carolina was canceled due to Hurricane Florence. The cancelation marked the third-straight season that UCF’s schedule was affected by hurricanes: Hurricane Matthew in 2016 led to rescheduling their game against Tulane, Hurricane Irma in 2017 led to the cancelation of games against Georgia Tech and Maine and rescheduling the game in place of the game against Maine. After the “bye week,” UCF continued its winning streak and won the next five games — FAU, Pitt, SMU, Memphis, and ECU — before their scheduled bye week.
The game at Memphis was the Knights’ first and only major scare in the regular season. They trailed for most of the game as Memphis put up 30 in the first half to UCF’s 17. UCF held Memphis scoreless in the second half and scored touchdowns in the 3rd and 4th quarters to seal the win, the go-ahead score with 12:14 left in the game. A defining moment in the season was the touchdown in the 3rd quarter. Facing a 4th and 1 at their own 29, the Knights ran a sneak play that caught Memphis off guard and led to a 71-yard touchdown by RB Taj McGowan. Despite Memphis running a fairly effective two-minute drill that reached UCF’s 31 yard line, a last-second tackle in bounds short of the line to gain bled the rest of the clock and secured the 31–30 victory. After the bye week, UCF continued to win in convincing fashion against Temple, Navy, Cincinnati, and the War on I-4 rivalry game with South Florida.
The game against Cincinnati was historic for UCF as College GameDay made its first appearance at UCF, and it lived up to the hype. It was the highest-attended program in the show’s 25-year history of attending games outside of a studio with over 20,000 people attending, and marked the 12th appearance of the /CFB flag at GameDay. The guest picker, much to Knight fans’ disappointment, was Maury Povich, even though former UCF players were available and were amenable to doing it. There were two iconic moments from the show, both coming from Lee Corso. The first was him cursing, once again, on live TV. During a discussion about how UCF was perceived for claiming a national championship in 2017, Corso said “Let me tell you something. These people don’t give a shit,” drawing a massive roar of cheers and applause from the crowd. The second moment was when he did his most elaborate helmet pick yet by dressing up in a full Knightro costume. The show was also very special for Corso. He lives in Lake Mary, a suburb of Orlando less than 20 miles northeast of the city, and he considers himself to be a fan UCF for that reason. It also gave his family the opportunity to attend the show. Quick editorial from the writer: I was at GameDay and happened to be standing next to the podium where Corso came out as Knightro. After the cameras stopped rolling, he took off the Knighto head and a couple of young children (I assume they’re his grandchildren) came onto the podium. He sat with them for a while and, if I recall correctly, gave them hugs. It was a really touching moment.
The War on I-4 against South Florida began like any other, with trash talking, heightened emotions, and a couple of horns down from UCF players and fans (South Florida, like Texas, uses horns up as a gesture). However, the game quickly became secondary on a lot of people’s minds when Milton suffered an injury described as “horrific.” During a scramble to the right sideline early in the 2nd quarter, Milton was tackled in the leg by South Florida DB Mazzi Wilkins. The hit resulted in a “dislocated right knee, severed popliteal artery and two torn ligaments” as listed by Sports Illustrated. According to the SI article, the injury Milton had has a 50 percent of requiring an amputation of the lower leg and, if not treated soon enough, would result in death. However, luck was on his side. The game was held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa which is located 6 miles from Tampa General Hospital and its Level 1 trauma center, the designation for hospitals that are the best equipped to deal with major and traumatic injuries. Milton arrived at TGH fairly quickly after leaving the stadium and had emergency surgery to stabilize his leg. The stadium’s proximity to a Level 1 trauma center is universally cited as a major reason that Milton didn’t suffer more severe consequences from the injury. Although Milton was spared from A game still had to be played, however, and backup QB RS freshman Darriel Mack Jr. came in to replace Milton for the remainder of the game. It was his first game playing in a “starting QB” role as opposed to stepping in late in games where the outcome was more or less decided. UCF rallied around Milton and started the 10HANA campaign, a reference to Milton’s jersey number 10 and his Hawaiian heritage as “ohana” means family in Hawaiian. T-shirts and other apparel was made with the phrase and black and gold leis were worn en masse to the AAC Conference Championship against Memphis, the team’s first game after Milton’s injury.
Memphis gave UCF yet another scare in the CCG. Just like in their regular season matchup, Memphis got out to a big lead during the first half as they took a 38–21 lead into the half behind an incredible performance by RB Darrell Henderson. However, just like in the regular season matchup, UCF’s defense stepped up in a major way as Memphis was held to just a field goal in the 3rd quarter. The offense also came to life as they scored 35 points on five touchdowns in their next five possessions. With the win, the Knights extended their winning streak to 25 games.
With their victory in the CCG, UCF was once again the highest-ranked conference champion in the G5 and earned the automatic bid into a NY6 bowl. In this case, it was the Fiesta Bowl against LSU, the site of their first appearance in BCS/NY6 bowl, a win against Baylor in 2014. While the game started off as a fairly close affair with the Knights ending the 1st quarter with a 14–10 lead over the Tigers. However, UCF was very undisciplined and took several uncharacteristic penalties, including an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the 2nd quarter after they stopped LSU on 3rd and 6. The penalty gave the Tigers a new set of downs that ultimately resulted in a touchdown that brought the score to 14–10. LSU took the lead on a touchdown with 12:59 remaining in the 2nd quarter touchdown that brought the score to 17–14, a lead they would maintain for the rest of the game. Although UCF came within three points to end the half, the lead was often two possessions or more. UCF did give LSU a scare toward the end, though. After the Knights trimmed the lead to eight on a touchdown and two-point conversion with 2:24 left in the 4th quarter, they were inches away from a successful onside kick as it was not fielded cleanly by LSU at first. The Tigers were able to burn the rest of the clock from there, sealing the win and ending the Knights’ winning streak.
USFSouth Florida — The War on I-4 Series Record: 4–6 This is UCF's major rivalry. The War on I-4 has existed in other sports since the 1970s, but the rivalry began in earnest when the football teams first met in 2005. The rivalry has had two chapters: 2005–2008 as non-conference games, and 2013–present as conference games in the AAC, and the outcomes in the rivalry have differed vastly in each chapter. From 2005–2008, USF won all four games. From 2013–present, UCF is 4–2. In 2016, the rivalry was officially sanctioned and led to the creation of a points-based competition involving all sports. Although the schools play each other in 14 sports, football is still the biggest game and the most coveted victory of any sport. A 150-pound trophy that goes to the winner of the annual football game. Despite the relatively young age of the rivalry, the Knights and Bulls have had a few iconic matchups. The 2008 game, the first War on I-4 game held at Bright House Networks Stadium, had many iconic moments and went into OT, but #17 South Florida ultimately prevailed 31–24. T here was a lot riding on the 2013 matchup for UCF, which also happened to be the 400th game in program history. They entered the game 9–1 and in the driver's seat for the conference's AQ bid into a BCS bowl. A win in this game would give UCF, at minimum, a share of the conference title and essentially lock up the bid. It was a close matchup with the outcome not truly decided until 1:20 remained in the 4th when South Florida QB Mike White was picked off by CB Jordan Ozerities, enabling UCF to kneel out the remainder of the clock to seal the team's first win in the War. The 2017 game marked the first time a "winner takes all" scenario occurred between the two teams as the game would decide the East Division champion, and the AAC champion had a near-guaranteed spot in the Group of 5 conferences' New Year's Six bowl game spot. It was a real back-and-forth affair as UCF took a 21–3 lead after the 1st, but South Florida scored 17 unanswered points to make the game 21–20 at halftime. The teams would proceed to more or less trade scores for the remainder of the game. The game's most iconic moment came with just over a minute left in the game. South Florida had just tied the game following a TD and a successful two-point conversion, but CB Mike Hughes took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 95 yards for the go-ahead TD. With 39 seconds remaining and South Florida pushing its way upfield, S Richie Grant stripped the ball from TE Mitchell Wilcox, and the ball was recovered by LB Shaquem Griffin. UCF would kneel out the rest of the clock and give the Knights a 49–42 victory. ECUEast Carolina Series Record: 7–10 UCF and ECU first played in 1991 when UCF was a Division I-AA Independent team, with annual games beginning in 2005 with when UCF joined C–USA. Similar to South Florida, this rivalry is really a tale of different conferences resulting in vastly different outcomes. ECU was 4–0 during the pre-C–USA games, 5–3 in C–USA, and now 1–4 in the AAC. There are some other potential rivalry games such as Houston, Memphis, and Tulsa, but those are played less regularly than the ECU and South Florida. Some former rivalries like Marshall are on indefinite hiatus because the teams are in different conferences.
2000 at Alabama — October 28, 2000, UCF 40 – Alabama 38
2010 Liberty Bowl – December 31, 2010, UCF 10 – Georgia 6
2013 War on I-4 – November 29, 2013, UCF 23 – South Florida 20
Thanks to metssuck, orangeLILpumpkin, and shiggidyschwag for their suggestions that really helped make the post better. The top contributions from this thread may be awarded with the vaunted /CFB Contributor Award flair! Quality material from this thread will be compiled by our /CFB Wiki Editors and will be accessible to view.
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