No. 22 UCF rolls past East Carolina, 63-21

By  | 

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - McKenzie Milton threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score, and No. 22 UCF also got touchdowns on defense and special teams in a 63-21 rout of East Carolina on Saturday night.

UCF moved to 5-0 for the first time in the program's Division I era and remained tied with 18th-ranked South Florida for the American Athletic Conference East lead at 3-0. The Pirates (1-6, 1-3) have lost three straight.

Milton and Knights came in with the highest scoring offense in the nation (47.5 points per game) and dominated the worst scoring defense (47.8 points) in FBS this season. UCF totaled 600 yards of offense, exceeding 500 yards for the third straight game, its longest such streak since 1998.

The Knights didn't score on every possession like they did last week against Cincinnati, but the defense and special teams chipped in. Safety Tre Neal returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, and Michael Hughes had a 66-yard punt return for a TD that put the Knights ahead 49-14 in the third quarter.

Milton, who was inconsistent as a freshman last year but has made a big leap this season, completed 21 of 27 passes for 324 yards. He hit Jordan Atkins for a 48-yard touchdown and Jamiyus Pittman for a 4-yard score. Milton also scored on a 1-yard run. Adrian Killins, Taj McGowan, Greg McCrae and backup quarterback Noah Vedral also had rushing touchdowns.

East Carolina quarterback Thomas Sirk led two impressive scoring drives in the first half, but he struggled in the third quarter and was replaced by Gardner Minshew. Sirk went 9-of-21 for 91 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

THE TAKEAWAY

East Carolina: The Pirates have some playmakers, but not enough to have sustained success against quality teams. Wide receiver Davon Grayson gave the Knights secondary problems, finishing with six catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. Running back Darius Pinnix had the best run from scrimmage, a tackle-breaking 57-yard scamper in the first quarter.

UCF: The Knights looked strong in all phases Saturday, but they need to be more disciplined against Navy next week. The defense gave up some big plays, and the offense lost a fumble near the goal line in the second half.

UP NEXT

East Carolina: The Pirates take a break from American Athletic Conference play to host BYU next Saturday night.

UCF: The Knights travel to take on No. 25 Navy next Saturday.

PREVIOUS STORY

ORLANDO, Florida -- East Carolina (1-5) is on the road at No. 22 Central Florida (4-0) for a Saturday night road trip.

4th Quarter: 63-21 Central Florida
Greg McCrae 18-yard rushing TD

4th Quarter: 56-21 Central Florida
Gardner Minshew to Tahj Deans TD

4th Quarter: 56-14 Central Florida
Noah Vedral 13-yard TD run

3rd Quarter: 49-14 Central Florida
Mike Hughes 66-yard punt return TD

2nd Quarter: 42-14 Central Florida
Taj McGowan 4-yard TD

2nd Quarter: 35-14 Central Florida
Thomas Sirk to Davon Grayson 4-yard TD

2nd Quarter: 35-7 Central Florida
Thomas Sirk intercepted by Tre Neal for TD

2nd Quarter: 28-7 Central Florida
McKenzie Milton 1-yard TD

1st Quarter: 21-7 Central Florida
Adrian Killins Jr. 3-yard TD

1st Quarter: 14-7 Central Florida
Thomas Sirk to Deondre Farrier 5-yard TD

1st Quarter: 14-0 Central Florida
McKenzie Milton to Jamiyus Pittman, 4-yard TD

1st Quarter: 7-0 Central Florida
McKenzie Milton to Jordan Akins, 48-yard TD