Knights Drop First American Athletic Conference Game at Navy, 34-30

Notes Stats (PDF)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The UCF football team had a 13-point second-half lead, but ultimately came up short on the road at Navy Saturday afternoon, falling 34-30 to the Midshipmen in the Knights' first American Athletic Conference game of the 2021 season.

UCF (2-2, 0-1 AAC) led 30-17 early in the third quarter when Joey Gatewood scored his first touchdown as a Knight on a 10-yard rush, but Navy (1-3, 1-1 AAC) scored the final 17 points of the game on a trio of scoring drives that all lasted three minutes or longer to defeat the Knights for the Midshipmen's first victory of the season. 

Without all-conference quarterback Dillon Gabriel - as well as five other regular starters on both offense and defense - true freshman Mikey Keene earned his first-career start, and proved to be effect for the Knights.

Keene went 16-of-26 for 178 yards and had two touchdown passes. His only turnover was an interception on a final effort to the end zone in the final moments of the game.

The Knight defense struggled to get off the field against Navy's triple option, as the Midshipmen held the ball for nearly 40 minutes to UCF's 21. The UCF defense was able to manage multiple turnovers for the first time, as Cam Goode forced a pair of fumbles recovered by the Knights.

Both times UCF scored on the ensuing play, one being Gatewood's third quarter rushing touchdown and the other one of two touchdowns from Keene to Brandon Johnson. Amari Johnson scored the other UCF touchdown rushing in from 16 yards in the first quarter.

Navy finished with 348 rushing yards in the game, blocked a UCF extra point, and blocked a Knights punt, recovering it for a touchdown in the victory.

"First of all, give Navy credit. They did the things that it took to win. We did the things that really hurt us and had a lot to do with us losing. Bottom line is we didn't get it done. We've got to get better. We've got to turn the page for next week."


UCF Knights · 2021 UCF Football at Navy - Highlights