UCF QB McKenzie Milton suffers gruesome knee injury in win over South Florida

Players gather around McKenzie Milton. (via ESPN)
Players gather around McKenzie Milton. (via ESPN)

UPDATE, 3 p.m. ET Nov. 24

Milton underwent surgery late Friday for the injury sustained during the game against South Florida. His family said in a statement that it was successful and that he was looking forward to rejoining the team when he could.

The Milton family would like to express gratitude for all of your thoughts, prayers, and concern. McKenzie’s surgery was successful and he is recovering well. We would like to thank the medical staffs at Tampa General Hospital, University of South Florida, and the Sports medicine staff at UCF for their superb care. McKenzie looks forward to rejoining his teammates in Orlando and supporting them in their quest to bring another conference championship to our program.

Remember what Ohana means. No one gets left behind.


Central Florida quarterback McKenzie Milton suffered a nasty right knee injury in the second quarter of the Knights’ game against South Florida on Friday.

Milton was scrambling on a third-down play and got hit awkwardly. He was carted off the field with an air cast on his right knee. ESPN did not show a replay of the injury but the camera shot right after Milton’s injury showed his knee bent at an angle that was very unnatural.

Warning: here’s a GIF of the play. It does not include the closeup of Milton’s knee after the injury.

How McKenzie Milton got injured. (Via ESPN)
How McKenzie Milton got injured. (Via ESPN)

ESPN’s broadcast reported that Milton was immediately taken to a hospital. He was replaced at quarterback by Darriel Mack Jr. The Knights beat USF 38-10.

Milton has been one of the best quarterbacks in the country over the last two seasons as UCF has won 23 consecutive games. Milton became a star during UCF’s 13-0 season in 2017 and was eighth in the Heisman voting.

The junior from Hawaii started in 2016 and made a massive leap last season as UCF declared itself national champions following a win over Auburn in the Peach Bowl. He was 265-of-395 passing for 4,037 yards and 37 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also rushed for 613 yards and eight scores.

In 2018 he was 166-of-279 passing for 2,577 yards entering Friday’s game with 24 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also had rushed for 291 yards and nine scores in the first 10 games of the season as UCF started the season 10-0.

UCF plays Memphis in AAC title game

Mack will presumably be the team’s quarterback in the AAC Championship Game against Memphis next week. The Tigers advanced to the game with a win over Houston earlier in the day.

Memphis is the team that’s given UCF the biggest challenges over the past two seasons. The Tigers lost just 31-30 earlier this year and fell in double-overtime to UCF in the AAC title game a year ago.

Without Milton playing QB for UCF, Memphis may have its best shot yet to end UCF’s winning streak. And to do that, the Tigers will have to stop the run.

Mack threw the ball just 14 times (five completions) after he came in for Milton. UCF ended up running the ball 58 times for nearly 400 yards at an average of 6.7 yards a rush. Running back Greg McCrae finished with 16 carries for 181 yards and three touchdowns.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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