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Knights become bowl-eligible with big win over Bearcats

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Bowl eligible and Central Florida. Not many thought those words would be used in the same sentence, but that accurately describes the situation with Knights football.

With their 24-3 win over Cincinnati on Saturday at Bright House Networks Field, UCF earned their sixth victory of the season, thereby assuring them an invite to a bowl game. Everyone should stop and remember this team was 0-12 just one year ago.


First-year Coach Scott Frost clearly has something going in Orlando. Player buy-in to what he is preaching is obvious just from the results.

The Knights are showing different ways to win. On Saturday, Quarterback McKenzie Milton deployed a dink-and-dunk passing attack as he threw for only 150 yards and a touchdown.

The key was he threw no interceptions. UCF had no turnovers on the day, while they had a key interception and a fumble recovery.

Special teams also scored when Justin McDonald returned a blocked punt 23 yards for a touchdown. Jawon Hamilton’s 25-yard run early in the fourth quarter effectively put the game out of reach. Hamilton had 81 yards on the ground.

 The UCF turnaround is one of the best stories in all of college football. Such an improvement is certain to gain Frost some votes for national coach of the year.

Central Florida, now 6-4 on the season and 4-2 in the American Conference, has two games remaining. Next week they host Tulsa before concluding the regular season with a trip to Tampa to take on the South Florida Bulls.

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at [email protected]

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