The UCF football team landed in Phoenix, Arizona, on Dec. 27, eager to experience the environment surrounding the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.
The Knights have fond memories at the Fiesta Bowl, where they upset Baylor in 2014. With that victory, UCF became the youngest school (1963) and football program (1979) to win a BCS bowl game.
They’re back for more, and while they have spent the last week preparing for their Jan. 1 showdown with LSU, they’ve also grown closer as a team and given back to the community.
At a team bonding event on Dec. 29, the team debated who is the real pro of Topgolf amid some friendly competition at the driving range.
Senior punter Mac Loudermilk ’18 was a natural at the range. His golf swing has become synonymous with his on-field celebrations.
“It’s absolutely been a great experience for our players. All of the team activities have been a lot of fun, an opportunity for our kids to get a chance to see a different part of the country than what they’ve experienced, and have really enjoyed it.” — UCF head coach Josh Heupel
“My teammates having the confidence in me has really helped me out a lot.” — Darriel Mack Jr.
One of the team’s last practices of the 2018 season took place in front of a stunning backdrop.
The Knights taught children from military families football drills as part of a community service outreach event following Dec. 30’s practice at Scottsdale Community College.
UCF’s mottos to “Reach for the Stars” takes on a whole new meaning in remote Arizona.