Pounding The Panthers

MIAMI (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF football team ripped off 45 unanswered points and rolled to a 53-14 victory over FIU Saturday night at FIU Stadium.

The Knights offense racked up 501 total yards of offense, the most since November 14, 2014 when they rolled to 506 total yards vs. Tulsa. Meanwhile, the UCF defense held FIU to just 11 first downs and 189 total yards. It was the second time UCF has held an opponent under 200 yards this season.

"I could feel this coming," UCF head coach Scott Frost said. "Our guys have been preparing and improving. I'm really happy for these guys, the effort and work they've put in and their attention to detail. It started to show up a lot more tonight and should give us a lot of confidence going in to conference."

Holding a slim, 8-7 lead late in the first quarter, the Knights' barrage started when tight end Jordan Akins leapt high to pull in a 21-yard aerial from quarterback McKenzie Milton to make it 15-7.

Matthew Wright booted his sixth field goal of the season early in the second quarter. Less than two minutes later, the Knights reached paydirt again. Drico Johnson returned an interception to the FIU 15-yard line. One play later, Wilson took an option pitch from Milton 15 yards and the Knights led 25-7. Wilson reached the goal line for a third time with 3:36 left in the half, going in from 12 yards out to cap an 87-yard march. UCF led 32-7 at the intermission.

"I told the guys we needed a fast start," Frost said. "I felt good about this game if we could get out in front. We got out in front and then everything else went well."

Second-half touchdowns came from Adrian Killins (61-yard run), C.J. Jones (1-yard run) and Nick Patti (9-yard run) before FIU lit the scoreboard again to account for the final tally.

The Knights marched 60 yards in eight plays on the first possession of the game, capped by a one-yard TD run by Wilson. Patti hit Jordan Franks with a scoring pass for the two-point conversion. FIU answered later in the quarter. Following a long punt return, the Panthers' Anthony Jones scored from six yards out to pull within one point.

Scoring Explosion
- The Knights' 53 points in the game were the most since 11.22.14 vs. SMU, when the Knights also scored 53.
- Six of UCF's seven touchdowns were on the ground, the most rushing TDs since putting up eight vs. Charleston Southern on 9.3.11.
- The Knights tallied 32 points in the first half, most since 11.22.14 vs. SMU.
- The Knights scored 37 points in the first half vs. the Mustangs in that 2014 contest.
- UCF's 32 points in Saturday's first half were more than they scored in any game in 2015.

Wow, Wilson!
- Senior running back Dontravious Wilson reached paydirt three times - all in the first half.
- The last Knight to rush for three touchdowns was Storm Johnson vs. Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl (1.1.14).
- The school record for rushing touchdowns in a game is four, accomplished three times by two backs.
- Wilson finished with 11 carries for 58 yards.

All-Purpose Adrian
- Freshman running back Adrian Killins did a little bit of everything Saturday night, putting up 204 all-purpose yards.
- Killins rushed for 86 yards on six carried, including a 61-yard TD sprint.
- He caught two passes for 69 yards, including a 60-yard reception in the first half.
- Killins also returned two kickoffs for 49 yards.

Sack-tastic Defense
- The Knights racked up five sacks in the contest.
- Junior linebacker Shaquem Griffin led the party in the Panthers' backfield. He corralled the QB twice, giving him a total of four on the season to lead the squad.
- Senior linebackers Mark Rucker, Errol Clarke and sophomore defensive lineman Joey Connors notched the other sacks.
- UCF now has 14 total sacks this season. The Knights tallied just 16 in all of 2015.

UCF opens American Athletic Conference action on Oct. 1, heading to Greenville, N.C. to face East Carolina at moon on CBS Sports Network.