It didn’t end the way that UCF wanted it to end. But perhaps it ended the way the Knights needed for it to end.
The UCF Knights were reminded that their work is not done Saturday night as they fell to Arkansas State, 31-13, in the Cure Bowl. The Knights went from a winless season to a 6-7 season and a bowl win.
It was nice, but it wasn’t complete. And that will gnaw at UCF and coach Scott Frost in the off-season. There is more recruiting, more coaching, to be done.
“I think when either team’s defense was on the field, it was the superior unit on the field,” Frost said. “We kind of knew that going in, we’re never making excuses, we’re beat up and especially up front on the offensive line.
“I don’t think that was a unit where we started with a ton of depth and we’re playing some young guys, but we carried the ball, I didn’t know this, 30 times for 12 yards, we gotta be better than that. We had some guys nicked up, but we’ll never use that as an excuse. We gotta keep working to get better.”
The Knights were unable to move the ball against Arkansas State. Freshman quarterback McKenzie Milton threw for only 175 yards, and the team rushed for only 11 yards. Arkansas State didn’t gain a lot more yardage – only 235 – but receiver Kendall Sanders caught three touchdown passes – 12, 75 and 17 yards – in a 125-yard performance.
Arkansas State, champions of the Sun Belt, started the season 0-4 and finished 8-5.