UCF Knights Quarterback McKenzie Milton grabbed six UCF touchdowns and Adrian Killins worked for a career-high 141 yards and one touchdown, assisting the currently No. 13 UCF (4-0, 1-0 American Athletic Conference) in beating down the visiting Pittsburgh Panthers 45-14.
The Knights amassed a 31-7 halftime lead and after half-time attacked their way to a 45-14 victory while extending their winning streak to a college football leading 17.
Milton finished 18-of-34 passing for 328 yards to go along with his four scoring strikes. He rushed for 51 yards on 10 carries and was responsible for six UCF touchdowns
QG McKenzie Milton said there is still room for improvement despite the Knights crushing Pitt in the “bounce house.”
“I’m not satisfied, not at all,” Milton said. “I thought we left some points out there. Any time you step on the field, you want to improve, whether it’s going from this game to Monday’s practice, you’ve always got to find an edge. If you get complacent, you get nipped in the butt in college football.”
Defensively, UCF held Pittsburgh to just 109 yards rushing on 33 carries. The Panthers were averaging 212 yards per game coming into the contest. The Knights also picked up another turnover and it was an important takeaway. With the Knights leading 21-7 and Pittsburgh threatening to score, Richie Grant stepped in front of a Kenny Pickett aerial at the UCF 8-yard line and returned it 25 yards.
The Knights cashed that turnover in nine plays later, when Milton found tight end Michael Colubiale in the back of the end zone to give the Knights a commanding 28-7 advantage.
Nate Evans paced the defense with a career-best 11 tackles, including half a sack. Grant tacked on eight stops to go with his interception. As a unit, the Knights racked up nine tackles for loss, including three sacks. Defensive ends Randy Charlton and Brendon Hayes tallied two of the sacks, while Evans and Kyle Gibson shared the other.
“Our (first team) defense played lights out,” Heupel said. “33 rushes for 109 yards. We held and dominated the line of scrimmage. That was a test for them going into it. That was the challenge and our guys answered that challenge.”
The Knights now return to American Athletic Conference play, hosting the SMU Mustangs next Saturday at 7 p.m.