The Jackets needed all of that from King to beat UCF. They trailed 14-0 after less than nine minutes. King’s 5-yard rushing score and 41-yard touchdown pass on back-to-back possessions forged a 17-17 tie before halftime. The Jackets gained their first lead of the game when Aldan Birr kicked a 29-yard field goal to end the opening possession of the second half.
Tech got the ball back with a fourth-down stop at its 30-yard line. The Jackets gave it back on King’s first big mistake, an interception, but Tech’s defense forced a punt. That’s when King energized Tech with some rugged runs.
The Jackets faced a three-and-out when King took on a defender near the first-down line and spun for extra yards. King converted another third down when he burst through the middle and muscled through an attempted horse-collar tackle. The 17-yard run and 9-yard penalty put Tech at UCF’s 9-yard line. King gained two yards on third-and-3, and Dontae Smith scored on fourth down for a 27-17 lead.
Tech’s defense has struggled all season, but it made the lead hold against UCF. The Knights failed to score on their final six full possessions. The Jackets went out as winners. They are on track to do more winning with King as quarterback again next season.