Central Florida beats Navy 31-21 for first 6-0 start
By DAVID GINSBURG | Associated Press | Published: October 21, 2017
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Adrian Killins ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns, McKenzie Milton passed for 233 yards and No. 20 Central Florida beat Navy 31-21 on Saturday for the first 6-0 start in school history.
It was tied in the third quarter before Killins bolted down the right sideline for a 79-yard touchdown run to put the Knights ahead for good.
With the victory, Central Florida (6-0, 4-0 American Athletic Conference) became bowl eligible, matched its win total of last year and improved to 6-0 for the first time in the 39-year history of the program.
The Midshipmen (5-2, 3-2) kept it close, but their chances of pulling off an upset dwindled after quarterback Zach Abey was forced from the game in the third quarter. Abey was dazed from a hit to the helmet at the end of a run and had to be helped off the field.
Abey, the key figure in Navy's triple option, carried 25 times for 126 yards and a touchdown — his school-record eighth straight 100-yard game. He also threw a touchdown pass.
His backup, Garret Lewis, directed a 75-yard drive that got the Midshipmen to 24-21 with 12:50 left.
Navy then intercepted a pass and moved inside the UCF 40 before Lewis sent a late pitch to Darryl Bonner, who fumbled when hit by cornerback Brandon Moore.
Moore recovered the loose ball with just over seven minutes remaining, and UCF freshman Otis Anderson scored the clincher on a 10-yard run with 3:30 to go.
The Knights came into the game averaging 50.6 points per game and with an average winning margin of 33.8 points. UCF didn't come close to matching either of those numbers, but it did end Navy's 17-game home winning streak during the regular season.
UCF: The Knights proved they can win — and score — even when not at their best. UCF did what was required to repel a very good team on its home field, and perhaps this close game will prove beneficial if and when the Knights get involved in another tight affair.
Navy: It's all about the system for Navy. Though Lewis had appeared previously only in a mop-up role, he did a decent job of directing the option against a defense that knew the run was coming. Though Navy will never settle for moral victories, the Midshipmen can take consolation in hanging with an unbeaten Top 25 team averaging more than 50 points a game.
UCF: The Knights host Austin Peay next Saturday. The game was arranged in September after UCF-Georgia Tech was canceled by Hurricane Irma.
Navy: The Midshipmen are off until Nov. 2, when they face Temple in nationally televised Thursday night clash.