No. 25 UCF routs Cincinnati 51-23 in rain-shortened game
CINCINNATI (AP) — McKenzie Milton threw a career-high five touchdown passes — four in the first half — and Tre’Quan Smith scored four times Saturday night as No. 25 UCF rolled to a storm-shortened 51-23 victory over Cincinnati in the Knights’ first game as a ranked team since 2013.
UCF (4-0, 2-0 American Athletic) has opened the season with four wins for the first time since 1988, when the Knights were in Division II. They failed to win a game two years ago, and then went 6-7 in coach Scott Frost’s first year.
Storms moved in with 4 seconds left in the third quarter and the game was called after a one-hour delay with more rain on the way.
The Knights have dominated each game, outscoring opponents 190-63. Cincinnati (2-4, 0-2) has dropped three straight in Luke Fickell’s first season as head coach.
The Knights moved into the Top 25 with a 40-13 win over Memphis. They carried the momentum to the road by scoring touchdowns on their first three possessions and getting points all eight times they had the ball.
Milton hit open receivers for touchdowns of 54 and 79 yards on the Knights’ first two possessions. The sophomore quarterback finished 16 of 19 for 374 yards with touchdowns of 54, 79, 21, 41 and 22 yards. Smith caught two TD passes, giving him six this season, and added his first career rushing touchdown.
UCF: How would the Knights handle a road game after moving into the rankings? Without a problem. Their offense made quick work of Cincinnati’s overmatched defense, with receivers repeatedly running past defenders. Milton has grown into one of the nation’s most dependable passers in his second season with only two interceptions in four games.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats fell into a bad habit: Falling so far behind that they can never catch up. They’ve been outscored 62-21 in first quarters this season. The Knights led 20-7 after the first quarter.
UCF: Hosts East Carolina next Saturday. The Knights won 47-29 last season and have won three of the last four in the series.
Cincinnati: Faces a ranked team for the second straight week when it plays at South Florida on Saturday. The Bearcats lost at home to the Bulls 45-20 last season. In their last trip to South Florida, they lost 65-27.
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