Since the beginning of the season, UCF head coach George O'Leary said he wanted his team to play for a championship and the Knights will get a chance to do that after a 49-24 victory over the UAB Blazers. Many of the seniors played a huge role in the Senior Day win that clinched the Conference USA East Division for the UCF and a trip back to Tulsa, Oklahoma to face the Golden Hurricane in the C-USA Championship game.
"It's mainly for the seniors, but our main goal all year has been to get to the conference championship and to win it," sophomore receiver J.J. Worton said. "To get a second chance at Tulsa is definitely something we're looking forward to."
"It's like a sense of urgency now," senior receiver and Orlando native Quincy McDuffie said. "We now clinched the division and now we got a chance to go back to Tulsa and get out revenge in the conference championship, which is our main goal."
Last week, UCF went to Tulsa and lost 23-21. That game has been on the squads' mind all week as motivation to bring UCF its third Conference USA Championship.
"This is definitely a big win," Worton said. "It carries [us] right into it (C-USA Championship game), but we also know what happened last time we were there and we're not going to forget about that."
Senior Latavius Murray had another solid performance in his final game at Bright House Networks Stadium rushing for 94 yards and one touchdown. Quincy McDuffie came into this contest with only one career rushing touchdown and ran for three scores and had 140 total yards.
The defense had some seniors who shined on the field as well. Palm City native Lyle Dankenbring returned an interception 78 yards for a score to help the Knights pull away from the Blazers.
"It's coming down towards the end of the season and most guys won't play at the next level," senior defensive back Kemal Ishmael said. "This is going to be their last game at home, so we just had a lot to lose this game and everybody just took it seriously and knew we had to get back to Tulsa and handle business."