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UCF reaped large financial benefit from 2017 perfect season

Florida Football Insiders

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Brett Davis- USA Today Sports

It should come as no surprise that the UCF athletic department, and football program in specific, raked in the revenue for their magical 2017 unbeaten the season. And now, we have some specifics on just how much green came in for the Black and Gold, now two seasons ago.

Responding to a public records request from the Orlando Sentinel, UCF made its financial data for the 2017 fiscal year available, including their 13-0 Peach Bowl winning football season.

Some very interesting it details in the Sentinel report included that the Knights brought in $5.6 million in  overall ticket revenue in all sports. That was up 20% from the year before and then coach Scott Frost’s football program being responsible for $4.6 million of it.

Led by star quarterback McKenzie Milton, the Knights finished an unbeaten regular season and then, defeated the Memphis Tigers in a thrilling double overtime win to clinch the American Conference Championship.

That victory punched the Knights ticket for a “New Years Six” bowl game against the Auburn Tigers, which brought in $5.2 million. That was a massive jump of just over $4.5 million more than the previous year, when the Knights played in the Cure Bowl in December of 2016.

UCF went ahead and stunned their SEC opponent on New Year’s Day in Atlanta. And, they later agitated many, including BCS Champion Alabama, by claiming themselves to be the only undefeated team in FBS football and therefore, “the 2017 National Champions.” Athletic director Danny White had that signage put on Spectrum Stadium, and the team also ceremonially raised a National Champions flag that still flies at the stadium, as well.

Another area which naturally would see increase was donor donations. This as, the football program increased by $1 million to $7.5 million in private and corporate direct donations for fiscal 2017 according to the documents reviewed by the paper.

You also cannot put a tangible price tag on the amount of free national media coverage and notoriety that UCF’s 2017 season brought the school. This would also be a positive for general student enrollment, interest in the football program/recruiting and enthusing the Orlando area to embrace the school.

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USF and UCF got American Conference 2020 schedules Tuesday

Florida Football Insiders

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

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Speedy former UCF RB Killins looks to impress at Shrine Bowl

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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.

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:

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.

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