UCF Takes the 2017 War on I-4 Battle

By on November 25, 2017

All Photos by Travis Failey

In front of a national audience, the war on I4 didn’t disappoint as UCF won a thrilling game 49-42 over USF at Spectrum Stadium. Both teams had everything to lose, especially the Knights who came into the game undefeated at 10-0 with a possibility of not only going to the AAC Championship Game vs Memphis but also a possible shot at the National Championship Playoff.

Those conversations will continue at least for one more week after a go-ahead 95-yard kick return TD by cornerback Mike Hughes with 1:41 left in the game. Prior to the return touchdown, the game seemed like it would go into overtime because of the previous drive when USF tied it up after  Flowers hit Darnell Salomon for an 83-yard TD.

Unfortunately, The Bulls once again shot themselves in the foot with special team errors including a missed field goal of 42 yards and an extra point by Emilio Nadelman along with the kick return touchdown which really came back to haunt the Bulls. Another key issue for the Bulls was the penalty situation as the Bulls had over 100 yards in penalties and the refs didn’t help USF’s cause by missing a key defensive holding call on UCF late in the game.

With USF driving late to tie the game tight end Mitch Wilcox caught a critical third down pass for a first down but UCF’s Ritchie Grant “Peanut Punched” the ball from Wilcox’s hand. UCF recovered and went into the victory formation to finish one of the wildest games in FBS history. It was was a tough moment for Wilcox who caught a touchdown earlier in the game.  Wilcox will recover as he is a part of the heart and soul of this team and will once again be a key member of the Bulls in their upcoming bowl game and during the 2018 season

Overshadowed in this game was the record-breaking performance by Quinton Flowers who passed for 503 yards setting a new record in Bulls history along with becoming the sixth player in FBS history to pass for 60 tds and rush for 40.  Flowers saved his best for his last regular season performance by outgaining UCF 605-533 in total yardage.  Also, the Bulls got an unbelievable night by junior wide receiver TyreMccants who started off the game with a 47-yard TD from Flowers and finished the game with nine receptions for 227 yards.

Flowers wasn’t the only quarterback to have a record-breaking night, UCF’s McKenzie Milton went 29-of 44 for 373 yards and four touchdowns and Surpassed former quarterback Daunte Culpepper for single-season touchdowns. Most likely the Bulls (9-2) will earn a mid-level bowl game while UCF will continue their amazing season as they host the Memphis Tigers next Saturday at noon for the right to be the champion of the AAC.

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