PHOTOS: UCF Defeats Auburn to Win Peach Bowl

Undefeated. That’s how the UCF Football team ended the season. 13 games, 13 wins. The team that had gone 0-12 only two seasons prior, went on to do the near impossible: a perfect season. Along the way, they faced people who doubted them, who said they didn’t deserve to be in the top 10, that they didn’t play a tough enough schedule to be in the college championship game. And yet. And yet they rose to every challenge. They defeated team after team, many by a landslide, to become the only team in the NCAA to have zero losses. They overcame hurricanes and naysayers and coach departures. Then they went on to play against Auburn — a team all the so-called experts said would beat them. And yet the Knights proved them wrong. Once the team took the lead in the second quarter, Auburn never overtook them in points. Auburn, the SEC powerhouse, defeated both teams playing in the national championship game, Georgia and Alabama, by double digits. But this, the Peach Bowl, was UCF’s game, and play after play they proved their right to be there. They proved that some teams, despite facing unbelievable odds, simply can’t be stopped. And in the process, they showed the nation what it is to be a Knight. We can’t think of a better way to start 2018. Here are some of the best moments from that game. (Photos by Nick Leyva ’15, Brad Helton and Scott Cook) (50 photos total)

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-5

    1Knights fans start to gather at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, site of the 2018 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

  • 2

  • 3Knights Matthew Wright and Adrian Killins Jr. encourage each other before game time.

  • 4Black and Gold were the colors of the day for the Peach Bowl.

  • 5Knightro waves to the Peach Bowl crowd.

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-12

    671,109 fans turned out to support the Knights and the Tigers.

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-8

    7

  • 8Quarterback McKenzie Milton talks over strategy.

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-14

    9McKenzie Milton scrambles for a big gain.

  • 10

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-15

    11

  • 12

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-18

    13Linebacker Shaquem Griffin sacks Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham.

  • 14The perfect Knights season can add one more victory to this pre-game sign.

  • 15

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-21

    16Nevelle Clarke makes a stop.

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-10

    17UCF President John C. Hitt cheers on the Knights.

  • 18Spirited — and dressed out — fans yell their support.

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-23

    19

  • 20

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-26

    21Kicker Matthew Wright puts one through the uprights.

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-28

    22Wide receiver Tre-quan Smith hauls in a pass.

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-29

    23

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-30

    24Linebacker Chequan Burkett runs back an interception for a touchdown in the final six minutes of the game.

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-31

    25

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-32

    26

  • 27

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-33

    28With 24 seconds left in the game and Auburn poised to score a touchdown, defensive back Antwan Collier intercepted a pass in the end zone, clinching the win for UCF.

  • 29

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-34

    30

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-36

    31Knights celebrate the moment of victory.

  • 32

  • 33

  • 34

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-39

    35

  • 36Quarterback McKenzie Milton received the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Offensive MVP Award.

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-40

    37For his final game with the Knights, linebacker Shaquem Griffin received the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Defensive MVP Award.

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-41

    38Coach Scott Frost holds up the Peach Bowl trophy.

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-42

    39

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-43

    40

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-44

    41

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-35

    42Tristan Reaves celebrates the win.

  • 43

  • ucf-football-vs-auburn-45

    44

  • 45

  • 46

  • 47Linebacker Aaron Evans revels in the championship victory.

  • 48

  • 49

  • 50Coach Frost acknowledges the support of the jubilant fans.