Owls Grounded

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (UCFKnights.com) - Powered by 24 unanswered points in the second quarter, the UCF football team set the record for the longest winning streak in program history at 10, with a 45-19 road victory at Temple on Saturday afternoon. The No. 12/14 (10-0, 7-0) Knights set a season high with five takeaways.

UCF scored 17 points on a trio of Temple (5-6, 3-4) turnovers in the second period. Pat Jasinski picked off the first pass of his career at the Owls' 20-yard line. Quarterback McKenzie Milton then connected on a nine-yard pass to Otis Anderson to put the Black and Gold ahead 21-10. Shaquem Griffin forced a fumble with a punishing hit on Temple running back Ryquell Armstead. Matthew Wright split the uprights with a 44-yard field goal on the ensuing drive. With 3:14 remaining in the first half, Kyle Gibson returned an interception to the Temple five-yard line. Gabriel Davis stretched for the goal line to put the Knights up 31-10 on the very next play. The UCF offense took advantage of the short field, scoring 24 points on just 122 yards of total offense in the second quarter.

The Knights kept the pedal to the metal to open the third. Milton found Tre'Quan Smith on the outside for a 22-yard touchdown pass. On the next Temple possession, Griffin dropped back in coverage deep in the secondary and snagged his first interception of the year. The offense put the game out of reach when Milton hit Marlon Williams on a swing pass for an eight-yard touchdown to make it 45-13 UCF.

* The Knights recorded four interceptions and forced one fumble on the afternoon.
* UCF now has 25 takeaways this season, compared to 24 touchdowns allowed.
* Nevelle Clarke added to the Knights' tally with a fourth-quarter pick that shut down a late Temple drive.

Opening statement...
"I was just proud of our guys. I was a little bit worried about this game being the game before the game and playing in the cold. A lot of factors pointed to this one being a close one. Our guys responded. I was thrilled with how our guys responded."

On improving to 10-0...
"We talked about it last night. We don't normally talk about big picture things. We talked about how hard it was to get to 10-0. Not very many people do it. Just a handful teams have a chance to do it. It's hard to win that many in a row. What these guys have done this year is really amazing."

On playing in the cold weather...
"We were happy when the forecast got a little bit better. I was a little worried about that. I was walking off the field before pregame started, and I saw all our DBs coming out to warm up without any shirts. I knew right then that our team's mindset was in the right place."

On the play of Shaquem Griffin...
"He's just an unbelievable football player and a great teammate. He's the kind of guy you want to be around all the time. I haven't seen many people in my football career who hustle the way he does."

On the defense stepping up big...
"I was worried a little bit in the first quarter when our offense sputtered on the first drive. I looked up with four minutes on the clock, and we had only touched the ball once. I've been in those games before when teams play keep away. That's where turnovers come in. I haven't seen stats yet, but I can't imagine that we had very many yards. The defense kept giving it to us deep in their territory, and the offense did a good job of finishing it off. Turnovers are the biggest stat in football and that played out today."

* Milton was a cool customer in the pocket once again, throwing for 208 yards and four touchdowns on 16-of-23 passing.
* The Kapolei, Hawaii, native did not throw an interception for the second straight game and the fifth time this season.
* The sophomore added a rushing touchdown on the opening score of the game.


The Knights will return home for the War on I-4 next Friday against USF at Spectrum Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. on ABC.

The second season of UCF Football under head coach Scott Frost is now underway. 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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