PHOTOS: UCF vs. Memphis (AAC Championship)

The UCF football team achieved perfection en route to a championship once again with its 56-41 win over Memphis in the American Athletic Conference title game Dec. 1. In addition to repeating as conference champions, UCF extended the nation’s longest active win streak to 25 games, which dates to Aug. 31, 2017. It was all accomplished with McKenzie Milton in the hearts and minds of the Knights and Knight Nation as the quarterback continues to recover from his season-ending knee injury. The spirit of #10hana and an outstanding team performance led by freshman quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. lifted UCF to an unforgettable finish and a berth to its second-straight New Year's Six bowl game. (Words by Jenna Marina Lee; Photos by Nick Leyva '15 and Austin Warren) (11 photos total)

  • ucf-cheer-confetti

    1The spirit team, football players, coaches, their families and fans were invited down to the field to relish the championship.

  • ucf-dale-captains

    2UCF President Dale Whittaker joined UCF's captains on the field ahead of the coin toss. On Sunday, Whittaker tweeted his support for the team following the reveal of the final rankings of the College Football Playoff: "At UCF, we say:“if there’s a better way, we should do it.” There is a better way to determine the best team in college football: decide it on the field. I look forward to the discussion about how to change the current #CFP system to include all deserving teams like @UCF_Football."

  • ucf-crowd-leis

    3Fans took it upon themselves to promote wearing leis to Saturday’s title game as a symbol of their support for Hawaiian native and UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton. UCF Athletics officially joined the movement by distributing 40,000 leis at the stadium gates, thanks to a combined effort with Global Promo and the UCF Student Government Association.

  • Heupel-hype

    4UCF head coach Josh Heupel pumped up the 45,176 in attendance crowd just before halftime.

  • Grant-interception

    5Defensive back Richie Grant sealed the game with an interception in the end zone with just 33 seconds remaining.

  • ucf-richie-grant-celebrate

    6Grant's interception continued the defense's streak of forcing at least one turnover in every game this year. In fact, it's a streak that they've kept alive in each of the last 30 games, dating back to the 2016 campaign. That streak leads the nation.

  • ucf-mack-trophy

    7UCF quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. won the game's MVP award. He threw two touchdowns and rushed another four into the end zone himself to help his team earn the victory. "We were going out there to win for 10," he said, referring to McKenzie Milton.

  • ucf-mack-father

    8UCF quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. soaks up the moment with his father.

  • ucf-richie-grant

    9UCF's Richie Grant holds the team's fourth American Athletic Conference trophy since 2013.

  • ucf-heupel-team-celebration

    10“Anyone that's been involved in college football - I don't care if you're coaching or playing - in my opinion, should understand how difficult it is to do what these individuals have done over the last 24 months. It's extremely special; it's rare, the ability to stay focused on a weekly basis. To handle adversity. To continue to compete at an elite level, knowing that you're getting everybody’s best shot takes a special group of young men to be able to handle that week-in and week-out for 11 months or for two years. So, I think if you're involved in college athletics you understand how special this group of individuals is.” — UCF head coach Josh Heupel

  • ucf-spectrum

    11UCF's average attendance for home games this year was 44,018, setting a new school record.