LSU’s victory on Tuesday in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl over UCF 40 – 32 snapped the nation’s longest winning streak at 25 games.
Those were the most important numbers at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, but here are some other ones that you will find compelling and intriguing coming out of the game:
745 – that’s the number of days since UCF last lost a football game. It came on December 16th of 2016 in the Cure Bowl in Orlando in a defeat against Arkansas State.
22, 7. That would be the number of opponents that UCF defeated during the streak (Memphis four times) and the number of conferences those opponents came from over the last 2 years.
86 – the number of plays LSU ran on UCF taking a page out of the Knights book on how they’ve beaten so many of their opponents. 52 of those plays were runs for 161 yards
44:11- The Tigers time of possession in minutes for the game, as they critically killed much of the fourth quarter keeping UCF’s offense off the field and preventing any chance at a comeback.
10- the number of consecutive incompletions that red-shirt freshman quarterback Darriel Mack ended the game with, including his final pass that was intercepted with :20 left. Mack clearly has to develop as a passer, if UCF has hopes of contending in 2019.
93- the number of yards UCF’s Bam Moore covered with his first quarter interception return for a touchdown. That is the longest defensive score in the history of the Fiesta Bowl:
— Fiesta Bowl (@Fiesta_Bowl) January 1, 2019
0- the number of timeouts that LSU had remaining with over three minutes left in the third quarter. This after they had already blown two of them, and then, elected to challenge a fumbled punt that UCF recovered. Throughout the fourth quarter it looked as though not having those timeouts would end up being a factor. And sure enough, it became a one-score game in the final minutes with LSU unable to stop the clock and talk about anything.
67, 63, 78, 73 and 69– those were the length in yards of the five impressive scoring drives by quarterback Joe Burrow and the Tigers right after they trailed 14 – 3 in the first quarter. By the time it was over, they had reversed an 11 Point deficit into a 34-21 third quarter lead and never looked back.
While it seems like a long time, it will be here before we know it.
USF and UCF got American Conference 2020 schedules Tuesday
On Tuesday afternoon the American Athletic Conference made official is 2020 football dates for opponents for its conference members. And, that means UCF and USF got to look for the first time at their full conference slates and when they are playing whom.
First for the Knights, they learned that they will open year three of coach Josh Heupel’s conference play on Thursday night September 24th at East Carolina. It is one of three stand-alone weeknight(day) games UCF has on their schedule.
The next one will be Friday night October 16th, as UCF travels to play the Memphis Tigers. That’s a team that the Knights defeated for two Conference Championship Game victories in 2017 and 18.
— American Football (@American_FB) February 18, 2020
UCF will also play a traditional “War on I-4” game with the rival Bulls on the Friday after Thanksgiving November 27th. This will be the fourth straight year of playing on “Black Friday.”
As for the Knights other part of the league schedule, they will have their AAC home opener with Tulsa on Saturday October 3rd and then, finish the slate with two huge home matchups with Temple Saturday November 14th followed by Cincinnati at Spectrum Stadium the following week.
For the Bulls, who welcome first year coach Jeff Scott in 2020, they will only have two standalone appearances in conference play. Those will be a Friday night home game October 23rd with Tulsa and then, the previously mentioned final rivalry game with UCF on Friday November 27th.
The Bulls first conference game of the season will be at Cincinnati on October 3rd, while the home opener is East Carolina the following week at Raymond James Stadium.
USF has a tough road slate beginning at Temple on October 17th and then, after the Friday night home game with Tulsa, playing at Memphis November 7th and at Houston November 14th.
The conference is playing 2020 with only 11 members, as UConn has departed and gone back to the Big East. This will also be the first time that the AAC doesn’t play a two six team division format and will instead take the top two ranked teams in conference play for it’s December Championship Game.
Speedy former UCF RB Killins looks to impress at Shrine Bowl
One-player eager to start showcasing himself Saturday afternoon in the pre-draft process in St Petersburg is former UCF speedster RB, Adrian Killins.
Killins ,who just finished four years of highlight runs and touchdowns for the the Knights will participate in the East-West Shrine Bowl.
— East-West Shrine Bowl (@ShrineBowl) December 2, 2019
Killins is generously listed at 5’9 and 165 lb. and came UCF without much fanfare from Daytona Mainland High School. However, he had been an explosive player on the football gridiron, and he was also a former two time 3A State 200m track champion before coming to Orlando.
Once at UCF in 2016, Killins immediately showed off his explosiveness and moniker of “fastest player in college football” with a 100-yard kickoff return at ECU and an 87 yard touchdown run at “the Big House” in Ann Arbor against Michigan.
His best season was his sophomore year, when he was named First Team All American Athletic Conference RB, as he rushed for 790 yards and 10 touchdowns to lead UCF. He showed versatility and caught another additional 25 passes for 169 yards.
He also set a UCF record for longest play from scrimmage that still stands, in the UCF regular season win over Memphis, as he took a handoff and the looked like a missle racing down the sideline:
Longest run in @UCF_Football history ✔️
Longest run in @American_FB history ✔️
2nd-longest in NCAA this year ✔️
— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) October 1, 2017
Killins helped the Knights experience their greatest season ever at 13 – 0 with not only a thrilling double-overtime conference title game rematch win over the Tigers, but a New Year’s Day upset of SEC Powerhouse Auburn in the Peach Bowl for the perfect season.
His next two years under Josh Heupel and his new coaching staff were not as spectacular. But, he still he would make the occasional explosive run and finished his career with over 1,700 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns.
He did leave a final impression with his 115 yards and 1 TD in the regular season finale with USF.
Now, he knows that with his smaller size, even with blazing speed, he will be challenged to stick on an NFL roster, and another way might be as a kick returner. Killins left UCF with a career 21.8 avg on 47 returns as a Knight.
He will likely need to show that part of his game to help him get a realistic shot at the next level. And, we wait to see if there will be explosive plays from him Saturday.