What We Learned at UConn

ORLANDO (UCFKnights.com) – There was a lot to take away from the UCF football team’s 56-17 win at UConn Thursday night. The Knights extended their nation-leading win streak to 14 games, giving new head coach Josh Heupel a victory in his debut as the man in charge.

Here’s what we learned…

Heuper Speed is for real
For the last two years, the UCF offense has used the moniker of UCFast for just how quickly the team moved on offense. Last season it led to the number one scoring offense in the country, as the Knights put up 48.2 points per game.

When Heupel was hired to take over at the helm of the program in December, some may have wondered if that type of speed could continue.

The head ball coach affirmed that it would and his past offenses as a coordinator at Oklahoma and Missouri seemed to give fans that same impression.  When spring ball started and the players themselves started to say that the offense was moving even faster than before, that’s when fans may have wondered, is this for real?

Through summer, into preseason camp, whenever a Knight was asked about the speed of the offense, the replies were similar. “It’s faster.” “I have to be in better shape just to keep up.” “I thought we were fast before, but this is another level.”

On Thursday night, in front of the nation, and in real game action, Heuper Speed was in full effect. Not only did UCF put up 56 points on the Huskies, the Knights did it with just under 22 minutes of possession. That’s 2.6 points per minute.

In fact, on each and every one of the Knights’ eight touchdowns, UCF used less than three minutes of clock time.
- 2:07
- 1:04
- 0:53
- 1:29
- 2:27
- 2:39
- 2:07
- 2:13

That’s UCFast.

The KZ for #HIsman campaign is alive and well
After finishing eighth in the Heisman voting last season, quarterback McKenzie Milton is one of the top returning players in collegiate football for 2018. He was the 2017 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, the 2017 Archie Griffin National Player of the Year, and he set records upon records as a sophomore.

What did he do for the first outing of his second act? Milton was nearly unstoppable in the win over the Huskies. The only thing that did prevent the quarterback from recording his third 400-yard passing game and setting a new career high in touchdown passes was that the Knights were leading by so much that he didn’t play the fourth quarter.

Milton finished the night 24-of-32 for 346 yards and five touchdowns. He didn’t throw a pick or drop the football. He wasn’t sacked. He did add 50 yards on the ground though.

Turnover margin could again be a key for the Knights
UCF was second in the nation in turnover margin in 2017 with a mark of +1.31, only losing the turnover battle in two out of 13 games. The Knights created 32 turnovers and only gave it away 15 times.

On Thursday night, while the defense gave up 486 yards of total offense – having to run back out onto the field what seemed like every other second due to the Heuper Speed offense – the Knights only gave up 10 points before a late score with 3:11 on the clock.

UCF used three key takeaways to keep the Huskies out of the endzone.

On the first drive of the game, UConn had moved from their own 16-yard line to the UCF 36. On a 2nd-and-10 Zavier Scott rushed up the middle and was met by Knights safety Richie Grant. Grant jarred the ball loose and jumped on it to end the drive and give Milton the chance to lead UCF to a score on the ensuing possession.

Late in the second quarter, the Huskies had again driven from their own territory to the Knights’ with a first down on the UCF 25-yard line. UConn quarterback David Pindell attempted a pass down the right side of the field, but again it was Grant who stepped up.

A first-year starter, playing without first team all-conference safety Kyle Gibson by his side in the first half, made the two biggest play for the defense in the first 30 minutes of action. Grant’s interception with less than a minute to play in the second quarter secured UCF’s 28-10 halftime lead.

Knight Nation is as strong as ever
Wednesday and Thursday UCF fans were seen throughout Orlando International Airport wearing their black and gold, traveling to the Northeast to watch their beloved Knights open up the 2018 season. Many of our kNYghts also came up to Hartford from the New York City area to cheer on UCF, and the strong contingent of Knight Nation was rewarded with a big win.

As always, the support doesn’t go unnoticed for the Knights. After the win, the players made their way to the UCF cheering section to show their appreciation for the support.

Season tickets are going fast for the highly anticipated 2018 campaign. Fans can purchase theirs today and learn about all of their options by calling (407) 823-1000 or visiting us online at ucfknights.com/fbtix.