Orlando FLA- It was an explosive start for the UCF Knights with a shut-out victory of 62-0 against the Florida A&M Rattlers. Thursday night’s win against FAMU rewarded the Knights with their 27th game scoring at least 30 points.
Without their ruthless and talented leader, quarterback McKenzie Milton, who suffered a gruesome and career-threatening leg injury late last season against USF, the question lingered on who was going to start for the UCF Knights. Fear of the Knights losing horsepower due to the absence of their leader hung over the team, but after Thursday night’s season opener, resulting in a blow-out victory, a starting QB seems to be the least of their worries.
The Knights took a devastating blow late in the 3rd quarter when a possible interception by defensive leader Brandon Moore, better known as Bam, took a hard tackle that ended with his leg being tangled underneath him. The whole UCF team and training staff gathered around Bam as he was treated on the field for almost twenty minutes before being carted off to the locker room. The pick was later waved as officials determined that the ball had hit the ground before landing in the arms of Brandon Moore.
UCF receiver Gabe Davis, who considers Bam to be one of his closest friends, commented on Bam’s injury. “He’s like a brother. That was the last person I wanted to see go down on the field. The things he has been through all his life, the things that he wants to accomplish…the goals that he wants to achieve and just to see something like that happen…that’s the last person I wanted to see something like that happen to. That’s why it was just so heart-breaking to see…”
The UCF defensive back, Brandon Moore, is still waiting to hear back on the extent of his leg injury after Thursday night’s season opener against FAMU. After meeting with an orthopedic surgeon Friday morning, Bam has learned that surgery could be avoided. The Knights are hoping for a quick recovery, as Brandon Moore is a big key for the UCF’s defense.
FAMU was left scoreless and struggled to retain first downs up against the Knights’ defense. The UCF Knights were able to convert for 42 first downs compared to FAMU’s 8 and went 3 for 3 in fourth down conversions against A&M’s who punted every fourth down.
“Really excited about the way we played in all 3 phases. Obviously will go back and watch the film tonight and tomorrow and there will be a lot that we want to correct but I thought after 8 months plus of investment that kids came out and played with passion, they played with great energy, and they played hard from snap to whistle. I am proud of what we did,” stated head coach Josh Heupel, who is in his second season as the head coach for the UCF Knights. “Obviously with the injury with Bam, extremely disappointed for him and I will be checking on him immediately after the game; players and coaches all need to get around him….it’s just a hit for him.”
UCF: The Knights will be on the road next week September 7th against Florida Atlantic and will be back at home in the Spectrum Stadium September 14th against Stanford.
FLA A&M: The Rattlers are back in their home turf for the next two games against Fort Valley State on the 14th of September and Southern on September 21st.