UCF cap off winless season with 44-3 loss to rival USF


Bryce Brimhall / Valencia Voice

UCF finished the season 0-12 after a 44-3 loss to USF, capping off the programs third winless season.

ORLANDO – The nightmare is over and the imperfect season is official as the UCF Knights fell to 0-12 for the season with a 44-3 loss to USF on Thanksgiving Day.

The Knights offense had been struggling all season long and it was no different on Thursday as UCF was outgained 455-203 while going 2-for-12 on third down.

UCF opened the game up with a field goal to take an early 3-0 lead over USF but those were all the points the Knights had in them as the Bulls rallied off 44 consecutive points to claim their fifth win over UCF in the young rivalry.

The 41-point loss came on senior night as many of UCF’s upperclassmen were playing their final game in a Knights uniform.

“Disappointed in the results,” said head coach Danny Barrett following the game. “Especially for tonight, for the seniors. I told them in the locker room that I am disappointed that we could not send those guys out with one final win to go with the record they had.”

Tre’Quan Smith was the lone bright spot for the Knights as he had seven catches for 102 yards. Smith accounted for more than half of UCF’s total offensive yards and had the longest play of the night with a 30-yard reception.

Smith finished the season breaking many UCF freshman receiving records including yards and receptions.

“He started off with a great catch then again on fourth down he made a great catch,” said Barrett of his leading receiver. “I feel as though he is going to be a leading candidate for Rookie of the Year for this conference and, hopefully, he will win it because he has shown that he can play football at this level.”

With the loss to Knights finish the season winless for the first time since 2004, which was George O’Leary’s first season at UCF, and are the first FBS program since Miami (Ohio) University in 2013 to go 0-12. The only other team in the FBS that has yet to win a game are the Kansas Jayhawks, who play rival Kansas State on Saturday.

“It was very difficult,” said UCF senior Thomas Niles about the 0-12 season. “Obviously a lot of young guys playing, guys that never played before. That’s going to affect you, no matter who you are or where you’re at, that’s going to affect you.”

The Knights had also finished winless in 1982 when they went 0-10 while playing in Division II. Including UCF’s bowl game from a year ago the Knights are currently on a 13-game losing streak going into next season.

UCF was young this season as both of their leading receivers and both of their leading rushers were all freshman, which marked a first in school history.

With Danny White now signed on as Athletic Director the focus for the football program will now be in finding a new head coach, which is expected to happen before January.