The UCF Knights forced a season high five turnovers while giving up none of their own and crushed the Temple Owls in Philadelphia. The Knights’ current streak of ten wins (which began with the season opening dismantling of FIU) is the longest in school history.
The Temple Owls showed some fight early in the game. Temple struck first with an Aaron Boumerhi field goal (he had missed a 29 yard attempt on the Owls opening possession). And early in the second, QB Frank Nutile threw an eight yard touchdown pass to WR Keith Kirkwood and took a 10-7 lead.
But it was the second quarter where things would go horribly off the rails and UCF would pounce. UCF answered the Temple touchdown with one of their own on a pitch to Dredick Snelson. It was all UCF after that. The Knights defense gorged on turnovers and put the offense in easy positions to score. Pat Jasinski had an interception. Shaquem Griffin blew up a blocker and forced a fumble that the Knights recovered. And Kyle Gibson had a pick. Buoyed by the takeaways, the Knights wound up scoring 24 points in the second quarter and outscored Temple 14-0 in the third.
The turnovers didn’t stop there. Griffin snagged an interception while covering a Temple receiver on a wheel route. And in the fourth quarter, Nevelle Clarke picked off a Nutile pass in the end zone. There was much celebrating by the Knights throughout.
Shaquem Griffin celebrating is my favorite thing. pic.twitter.com/sI3f31Hgjd— The * (@CFBAsterisk) November 18, 2017
Oddly enough, UCF’s 45 points scored actually lowers the Knights’ season average. The outcome could have been even uglier for the Owls, but UCF played its backups early. Milton sat with time left in the third. And the UCF backups played on both sides of the ball in the fourth quarter. This allowed Nutile to throw another deep touchdown pass. And the Knights were not able to score again, or even move the ball much – with the exception of a 46 yard pass by Noah Vedral to freshman WR Emmanuel Logan-Greene.
But this was undoubtedly a great opportunity to avoid injuries to the starters and get another quarter of rest before the potentially season-defining War on I-4 showdown against USF. USF played Tulsa on Thursday (surviving, barely) and has extra time before the game on Black Friday.