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UCF Knights win 56-6 over Kent State in season opener

ORLANDO, Fla. — UCF Knights were consistent against Kent State, scoring 14 points in each quarter in a 56-6 win at FBC Morgage Stadium in Orlando.

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The University of Central Florida made its Big 12 debut Thursday night against Kent State, and it only took UCF four minutes to score their first Big 12 touchdown.

On a 12 play drive, UCF drove 75 yards, capped off by UCF’s quarterback John Plumlee finding wide receiver Xavier Townsend for a 9-yard touchdown. UCF takes the lead 7-0.

Townsend gets his first career touchdown as a Knight.

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After a Kent State four and out, the Knights drove 59 yards in under three minutes to put seven more on the board. The drive ended with a 17-yard run by Plumlee into the endzone 14-0 Knights.

On Kent State’s third possession, the Golden Flashes moved the ball within field goal range and hit from 45 yards, 14-3 at the end of the first quarter.

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Entering a second quarter, the Knights would put together another 70-plus yard drive, with running back Jordan McDonald taking the ball in for a 2-yard touchdown run, UCF up 21-3.

The Golden Flashes were not ready to head back to Ohio just yet.

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Kent State’s D.J. Miller Jr. intercepted UCF’s Plumlee in the endzone but the Golden Flashes could not capitalize.

With two minutes left in the first half, UCF’s DeJordan Mask intercepted Kent State in the endzone, setting up a 95-yard drive with Plumlee connecting with tight end Alec Holler for an 18-yard touchdown.

UCF would go into halftime up 28-3.

UCF started the second half the same as the first, but this time the Knights drove 78 yards in under two minutes after Plumlee found wide receiver RJ Harvey for a 50-yard touchdown pass, UCF up 35-3.

After the Plumlee to Havey touchdown, UCF and Kent State traded punts. UCF held Kent State on downs to take over possession, and the Knights would take advantage.

In two plays, Plumlee found Jaylon Griffin with an 8-yard pass to set up a 48-yard run by Harvey, increasing the lead to 42-3.

Kent State would again find their way into field goal position to hit a 43-yard attempt, ending the second half 42-6 UCF.

UCF’s Plumlee would start the third quarter with a six play, 63-yard drive, but Kent State would pick off Plumlee in the endzone to end the drive and Plumlee’s night for the Knights.

UCF coach Guz Malzahn would put in redshirt freshman quarterback Timmy McClain.

McClain would continue the Knight’s dominance and take the team 62 yards to end another scoring drive with a Mark-Antony Richards 7-yard touchdown run, UCF 49-6.

UCF would cap off the game with a 5-yard touchdown run by Demarkcus Bowman, and the fans were treated to an end of game SpaceX Falcon 9 launch to call it a night.

Tonight’s win is the eighth consecutive season opening win for the Knights and the team’s 34th home opening win in the school’s history.

This win also gave head coach Gus Malzahn a perfect 12-0 record in home openers at UCF.

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