Knights Charge On to 56-10 Victory in Home Opener

ORLANDO – The UCF football team came out strong in its home opener against South Carolina State Thursday Night at FBC Mortgage Stadium, scoring 28 unanswered to start the evening in route to a 56-10 victory. The win was the Knights' seventh straight in home openers.

The Black and Gold received the ball to start the game, giving quarterback John Rhys Plumlee his introduction to Knights fans. Plumlee found Javon Baker on a crossing route for a 12-yard touchdown pass, capping off the Knights 70-yard opening drive. 
Plumlee found the end zone twice more in the first quarter, with a beautiful 30-yard pass to Kemore Gamble. Just over four minutes later, he decided to take it himself, weaving past the Bulldogs defense for a 17-yard touchdown rush and pushing the Knights to an early 21-0 lead. Before the end of the half, Isaiah Bowser recorded his first of two rushing touchdowns of the game, and UCF took a commanding 28-3 lead into the locker room at the half.
The Bulldogs notched their only touchdown of the game in the third quarter, to which the Knights responded with another 28 unanswered point run to close the game. Plumlee recorded two more touchdowns in his debut, finding both Johnny Richardson on an 18-yard pass and Zach Marsh-Wojan on a 21-yard pass.
Special teams showed their strength in the first minutes of the fourth quarter, as Quadric Bullard blocked a Bulldogs punt and recovered it in the endzone for a defensive score, pushing the score to its final margin of 56-10. The blocked punt was the first since Sept. 7, 2019. The returned touchdown was the first since Nov. 12, 2016 against Cincinnati.
With a five-touchdown performance from Plumlee, frehsman Thomas Castellanos also gave a worthy introduction to the fans with a 32-yard rush in his first drive. 
Walter Yates III led the UCF defense with seven total tackles, while redshirt-senior safety Divaad Wilson recorded his third career interception in the victory.