‘Nauts Edge Knights in Annual Spring Football Game

ORLANDO – After displaying QR codes on its spring game jerseys last season and the player's Twitter handles in 2021, UCF continued to own the spring with its Knights vs. 'Nauts theme as the program wore four different uniforms during the annual spring game held Friday night at FBC Mortgage Stadium.

The defense wore the Black and Gold Knightmode jerseys, while the offense donned the 2019 and 2021 Space Game uniforms, and the quarterbacks sported the pewter 2020 Space Game uniform.

In a non-traditional spring game, the Knights played two 12-minute quarters before finishing with several player skills challenges in the second half.

The 'Nauts edged the Knights 43-42 with players able to score points from the skill challenges to factor into the final tally.

"I thought overall it was a good night," said head coach Gus Malzahn. "The defense started out really good and had a great first quarter. The second quarter was the offense's and I thought there was some really good stuff that happened during those two quarters.

"Our players really enjoyed the competition at the end and the spring is in a really good spot."

After the Knights' defense was spotted a 21-0 lead prior to the start of the game and only able to score points by forcing a turnover, wide receiver Dionte Marks sparked the scoring for the 'Nauts as he reeled in a 29-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Thomas Castellanos in the back of the end zone.

Running back RJ Harvey finished the game with eight carries for 51 yards, including a 10-yard TD rush.

After helping the UCF baseball team earn a 12-3 win against Memphis, two-sport star John Rhys Plumlee raced over from John Euliano Park to FBC Mortgage Stadium to participate in the spring game. He found Kobe Hudson on a beautiful deep pass, as the senior wide receiver caught the pass in stride and scampered to the end zone for a 70-yard TD catch.

Demarkcus Bowman, who transferred to UCF from Florida, had a couple nice runs in the game headlined by a 21-yard TD run and the Lakeland native ended the night with 57 yards rushing.

Plumlee connected with Javon Baker for the final score of the day during the scrimmage portion, as the Knights' leading receiver from last season and All-AAC selection caught the pass just shy of the end zone for a 35-yard TD grab.

On the football field, Plumlee was 10-of-17 for 236 yards passing with a pair of touchdowns after he was 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs batted in (RBI) and a run scored in the baseball game.

Castellanos was 7-of-13 for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

The second half of the night was highlighted by the player skill challenges, including a strongest arm competition for non-quarterbacks, offensive and defensive linemen catching punts and a 40-yard dash, which included a special guest with Knightro riding Pegasus.

The nearly 17,000 fans in attendance were treated to a fun night at FBC Mortgage Stadium and when it was all said and done, Malzahn had one final message: "See y'all this fall for the Big 12."