Sports

Thanks for the Best Weekend Ever, College GameDay

Relive the experience through these 20 photos.

By Jenna Marina Lee |
November 19, 2018

Fans holding up homemade signs about UCF Football in front of a camera lens

From Thursday afternoon through the football team's big win Saturday night over Cincinnati, campus was electric with ESPN's College GameDay and ABC's visit to UCF.

UCF Football player Mac Loudermilk wearing his #48 jersey steps off Orange bus with Home Depot logo and greets cheering fans

Photo by Nick Leyva ’15

The College GameDay bus was greeted by a mob of fans along with Knightro, the spirit team, the Marching Knights and Knugget on the corner of East Plaza Drive at 2 p.m. Thursday. UCF punter Mac Loudermilk surprised everyone as the first to step off the bus.

Black and Gold UCF flag waves in front of orange bus with a crowd around it

Photo by Nick Leyva ’15

 

Two women pose for a selfie in a crowd outside

Photo by Nick Leyva ’15

ESPN analyst Maria Taylor stops to pose for a selfie during Friday’s College Football Live broadcast on Memory Mall. “Our Friday College Football Live has never looked so good because fans are just excited to be here,” Taylor says.

wide angle of sunrise over Memory Mall

Photo by Nick Leyva ’15

A hoard of fans were already gathered in anticipation of the College GameDay broadcast before Saturday’s sunrise. Some arrived on campus before midnight and bundled up overnight as temperatures dipped into the 40s.

College GameDay desk and UCF and Cincinnati helmets

Photo by Nick Levya ’15

UCF not only had GameDay on campus but a highly anticipated primetime matchup on ABC against nationally ranked Cincinnati. The winner of the game would clinch its spot in the American Athletic Conference Championship game Dec. 1.

According to ESPN’s Media Zone, the game ended up as the highest-rated primetime game of the week, delivering a 2.3 overnight. The rating for the Knights’ 23rd consecutive win topped the broadcast competition by 15 percent, leading to ABC/ESPN earning the highest-rated primetime game in the sport for the 10th time in 12 weeks this season.

back-stage shot of College GameDay set

Photo by Nick Leyva ’15

“We’ve been looking for an opportunity to come here because UCF has been a story in college football. … We pride ourselves on not just going to the place where the game might hit the two highest ranked teams, the lowest combination of numbers — we try to go where there’s a great story. No matter which side of the fence you sit on, I think this is a great story,” says Rece Davis, host of College GameDay.

A sea of fans holding signs in front of a brick building

Photo by Nick Levya ’15

The GameDay analysts commented during the broadcast about the high volume of UCF fans’ signs, saying it might be the most signs they’ve ever seen during their 25 years as a show.

Poster of popular meme with College GameDay looking at UCF instead of Alabama logos

Photo by Austin Warren

Turns out, a lot of people tuned in to watch Knight Nation on College GameDay.  In Orlando, the broadcast earned a 3.9 rating overnight, tying as the market’s best rating for the premier pregame show since 2010.

Man holding a baby with a sign that read "UCF's last loss was before I was conceived"

Photo by Nick Leyva ’15

 

three small children wear black and gold shirts that say We Want Bama

Photo by Austin Warren

 

Blonde woman wearing sunglasses holds sign that says Knightro for Governor

Photo by Nick Leyva ’15

 

President Dale Whittaker and wife Mary kneel by mini horse Knugget in front of cheering fans

Photo by Nick Leyva ’15

President Dale Whittaker and wife Mary wouldn’t miss their opportunity to pose with fan favorite, Knugget.

People dressed like golden color bears hold a sign that says Bearcat? Never heard of it.

Photo by Austin Warren

 

Four men wearing black and gold stripped overalls hold a sign

Photo by Nick Leyva ’15

 

Man wearing a black and gold jersey holds a cutout of Lee Corso head with Knightro mask

Photo by Austin Warren

 

Golden Retriever puppy wearing a black and gold bandana looks up

Photo by Nick Leyva ’15

UCF fans come in all shapes, sizes and breeds. Meet Koa.

wide shot of crowd around College GameDay set on Memory Mall on blue, cloudless day

Photo by Nick Leyva ’15

“Waking up in the morning – you dream that as a little kid. Turning the TV on and seeing it’s in Orlando on UCF’s campus on Memory Mall, that was unreal. This was a childhood dream for me,” senior defensive lineman Joey Connors says.

ESPN analysts Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit look back at the crowd from their desk chairs

Photo by Nick Leyva ’15

“There’s nothing like being here in my hometown. I have a special feeling for UCF — almost like a dream come true. I’ve been doing this for so many years and following UCF, and now to see us bring College GameDay, it’s a great thrill. I’ll tell you what, they deserve it,” says Lee Corso, College GameDay analyst and a resident of Lake Mary.

Lee Corso wears Knightro costume

Photo by Ben Soloman

In the closing segment of College GameDay, Corso has become famous for putting on the mascot head of the team he believes will win the game. Corso not only put on Knightro’s head — he went all in and geared up in Knightro’s full armor for the big reveal.