The nation’s best offense scored 65 points in an overtime win to give their head coach an unforgettable departure.
Scott Frost being named the new head coach at Nebraska moments after, with Josh Heupel already hired for next year as the replacement, not more than a week later.
In summarizing the University of Central Florida’s fantastic year, given the unfortunate placement of playoff ranking and heavily overlooked, it was one heck of a ride.
Throughout all the commotion, UCF thrived week in and week out. With the Knights scoring 80 touchdowns, 593 points, and ranking 2nd nationally in team passing efficiency, the quarterback position was most certainly filled by a special player. QB McKenzie Milton was lighting it up all year and at one point was a Maxwell Award semifinalist. Being a big reason on the success of this team and that high powered offense, Milton made it look easy at times, and with the team’s mediocre defense, could be considered the season's savior on many occasions.
Finishing up his sophomore season with excellent numbers, Milton has earned our inaugural award as The SkyBoat Offensive Player of the Year.
Milton had a season for the ages, throwing for 3795 yards with 35 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. He had a magnificent 184.8 rating and completed 69.2% of his passes. He ranked ninth nationally in passing yards per game, was tied for sixth in points responsible for and fifth in passing yards per completion. Milton also flourished with his legs, rushing for 497 yards and seven touchdowns. He was the leading force in the consistency of this offensive powerhouse.
After a promising freshman season, Milton had a lot left to prove. Over the course of the summer, all the talk was about the improvement he made as the signal caller of this team. To begin the season, he had an impressive outing against the FIU Panthers where he was pulled in the third quarter after building a large lead. After that, the rest was history. He tripled the number of TD throws and doubled the amount of passing yards from his previous year. He increased his completion percentage by 10 points, and did all of this with just having played only two more games. His freshman year stats include the bowl game UCF played, while this year’s postseason matchup against Auburn in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl is still more than three weeks away. Milton did it all for this team, and is one of the most valuable and underrated players across the nation. We at The SkyBoat would give him significant consideration for the Heisman, and Scott Frost would heavily agree.
“McKenzie Milton is one of the best football players in the country. He makes plays he's supposed to, he makes plays he's not supposed to make. I about wrung his neck when he pitched it over the top of somebody on that last drive, but how do you stop the kid from making those plays? He's lights out and he's not getting enough credit for what he does on the football field. In my opinion, he should be in the Heisman race. If you look at his numbers and what he's done. I'm not usually one to call attention to an individual player because it's about the team and winning, and we have a lot of special players, but McKenzie Milton is one of the best quarterbacks in the country, bar none.”, Frost said after a late November game.
Going into his Junior year, Milton now has a new head guy in charge. Josh Heupel, an offensive guru of his own similar to Frost, will step in and take over an already talented team. With Heupel leading Missouri QB Drew Lock to an impressive statistical season, Milton can only dominate even more.
With that being said, he is the ultimate choice for our SkyBoat Offensive Player of the Year.