On a day when McKenzie Milton surpassed a quarterback great in the record books, the UCF defense was tested by a physical Navy team.
Milton became the school’s all-time leading rushing quarterback midway through the second quarter, passing Daunte Culpepper for the honor. It was just the start of a big day for the junior quarterback, who finished with two touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown while leading No. 12 UCF to a 35-24 win over the Midshipmen.
The victory extended the nation’s longest win streak to 22 games.
It was a relatively slow start for the UCF offense, which didn’t find the end zone until midway through the first quarter when Greg McCrae plowed forward for an 11-yard touchdown run that gave the Knights the first lead of the day.
It was McCrae’s fourth rushing touchdown of the season for the former walk-on who has quickly established himself as the team’s go-to running back during the past few weeks.
On Navy’s next possession, quarterback Zach Abey coughed up the football after being hit by defensive back Richie Grant. The ball was quickly recovered by linebacker Pat Jasinski. It was the 21st takeaway of the season for the Knights and the 28th straight game during which the team has recorded a turnover.
UCF was able to take advantage of the Midshipmen’s miscue by putting together an 11-play drive, capped off by a four-yard touchdown run by Taj McGowan. It was McGowan’s sixth rushing touchdown of the season and the second of the afternoon for the Knights.
Navy took over at its own 25-yard line and was in the middle of a 13-play drive before Abey fumbled the snap on fourth-and-one, turning the ball over to the Knights.
UCF went back to work and five plays later, Milton found Dredrick Snelson, who outraced the defense for a 34-yard touchdown and a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter. It was Milton’s 20th touchdown of the season and the 22nd straight game with a touchdown pass, tying him with Daunte Culpepper for second place on the school’s career consecutive touchdown passes list.
The Midshipmen mounted another long drive, taking more than five minutes off the clock before being forced to settle for a 24-yard field goal by kicker Bennett Moehring that cut the lead to 21-3.
Navy turned the opening kickoff of the second half into an impressive 11-play drive that was capped by a five-yard Zach Abey touchdown run that cut the lead to 21-10.
UCF scored for the fourth time in its first six drives, this time relying on a one-yard touchdown run by Milton that pushed the lead to 28-10.
The two teams traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
UCF entered this week’s College Football Playoff rankings at No. 12, unchanged from the previous week.
The Knights’ remaining schedule including games against Cincinnati (8-1) and USF (7-2), which still have games to play Saturday night. If UCF remains undefeated, the team will host the American Athletic Conference Championship Game on Dec. 1, most likely against West Division leader Houston (7-2).