Terp Takedown

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF football team returned to the field on Saturday for its first road game of the year, a 38-10 win over Maryland.

The Terrapins (2-1) came into Saturday's matchup ranked second in the nation in scoring at 57 points per game and averaged 508 yards of offense, including 315 yards rushing, but they had not gone up against a defense like the Knights (2-0). Swarming to the football, UCF constricted the Maryland offense to 197 yards of total offense and 42 on the ground.The secondary notched a pair of interceptions, including a pick-six for Mike Hughes in the fourth quarter, but third down was the bread and butter for the Black and Gold. Maryland converted just two third downs on the afternoon.

The offense fed off defensive stops all afternoon long, starting at end of the first quarter with a turnover on downs. Maryland backup quarterback Max Bortenschlager set up for a sneak on fourth-and-1 at the UCF 45-yard line, only for Shaquem Griffin and Titus Davis to stop him behind the line. The UCF offense charged into the end zone on a nine-play, 55-yard drive on the ground, capped by a one-yard touchdown run by Taj McGowan.

Up 14-3 coming out the break, the defense forced a quick Maryland three-and-out to give the ball back to the offense. Quarterback McKenzie Milton bolted out of the backfield on third-and-3 for a 55-yard run to keep the drive alive. Five plays later, Milton found Jordan Akins with a six-yard touchdown pass to make the lead untouchable.

The Knights return home to Spectrum Stadium next Saturday for their American Athletic Conference opener against Memphis at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

* Maryland came ranked in second in the nation in scoring offense at 57 points per game and eighth in rushing with 315 yards per game, but the Knights held the Terrapins to just 42 yards on the ground.
* UCF racked up 12 tackles-for-loss for 45 yards, led by Jamiyus Pittman with two of the Knights' five sacks.
* The Terrapins made it into UCF territory on five occasions, but the Knights only gave up 10 points.




* The Knights posted 250 yards rushing for the first time since Sept. 24 last season against FIU.
* Taj McGowan posted his first career multi-touchdown game with a pair of scores in the second quarter.
* Milton finished with a career-high 94 yards on the ground, including the second longest run of his career on the 55-yard keeper in the third quarter.
* Milton, McGowan, Adrian Killins, Jr. and Otis Anderson all carried the ball for more than 30 yards.


Head coach Scott Frost after the game.
On the players' emotions after the game...
"I was ecstatic. I think the guys were happy. They're not acting like they won the Super Bowl. They came in expecting to win this game and that's great to see. I think they came out and played harder than the other team did. We executed better and deserved to win the game. Everybody is excited, but my message to them is that we're not done. We have to go back to work. We have a big time conference opponent coming in next week, and we need the same kind of preparation for that."

On going five-for-five in the red zone...
"I thought we played well on offense. We were a little rusty and made some mistakes. In the first couple drives, mistakes hurt us. I need to call a better game in the first half and put us in better situations. We worked a lot on red zone offense in the offseason. We worked a lot on third downs offense. We emphasize those things more during the week, and the team is starting to show improvement."

On the running backs that stepped up after Jawon Hamilton injury...
"I think we're going to be fine. I trust Taj McGowan a lot. AK (Killins) is a big play waiting to happen for us. We just can't give him the ball 40 times per game. Otis is a similar player. We gave him a bigger role today and he did well. Cordarrian Richardson continues to come along. He's going to be really good eventually. Hopefully, there's not much wrong with Jawon, but we have skill guys that are performing well right now.

The second season of UCF Football under head coach Scott Frost is just around the corner. Fans can explore all of the new ticket options at Spectrum Stadium by visiting WeRiseandConquer.com or calling (407) 823-1000.

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