While UCF celebrated Senior Day prior to its noon kickoff against winless SMU, the senior class continued its party throughout UCF's 53-7 win Saturday.
Senior J.J. Worton, who was escorted onto the field by his parents pregame, escorted a Justin Holman pass 58 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter — a quarter in which UCF scored 27 points.
In the second quarter, in his first career kickoff return, senior Michael Easton housed an SMU kick for a 96-yard touchdown.
"I'm happy for Mike Easton, we've been looking for a kickoff return all season and he puts it in the endzone," head coach George O'Leary said. "He's put in a lot of time and is a good special teams player for us."
After he returned to the sideline, he received an embrace from O'Leary.
"[O'Leary] said, "We've been waiting for this all year,'" Easton said. "I replied, 'Yes sir.'"
Easton, although he has not played many snaps on defense, has proven to be a Swiss-Army knife for UCF on special teams. Throughout his career, he's been on kick coverage, served as a gunner on the punt-coverage team and a reserve kickoff returner.
When given an opportunity, Easton delivered.
Video: UCF beats SMU in 53-7 rout on Senior Day
"That's just Super Mike — that's what we call him," senior linebacker Terrance Plummer said. "He's literally what UCF stands for. Find your role on your team and do the best that you can."
Plummer tallied a sack, senior safety Brandon Alexander recovered a fumble and senior kickers Rodrigo Quirarte and Shawn Moffitt combined for four field goals.
Moffitt and Sean Galvin returned in the second half from suspensions for violating team policies.
The senior class improved to 21-3 in their careers at Bright House Networks Stadium, and with the victory, UCF was able to keep pace atop the American Athletic Conference.
Holman completed 15 of 22 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. A minute after he found Worton for a touchdown, he connected with junior Breshad Perriman for an 18-yard touchdown. The quarterback also threw two interceptions, one when senior Rannell Hall slipped on a route, and another that was hauled in with one hand by SMU defensive back Horace Richardson.
Facing an anemic SMU offense, the UCF defense stifled the Mustangs and limited them to just 116 total yards and four first downs. In the past two games, the UCF defense has allowed a combined 14 points.
"I thought defensively we did a nice job of containing the quarterback and keeping him in the pocket," O'Leary said. "We tackled well in space, which is key against a spread offense like that."
The Knights forced five turnovers, the most since 2009, with sophomores Jacoby Glenn and Shaquill Griffin each intercepting passes.
Now the Knights face a short week as it travels to face USF on Friday at noon, a game that will be broadcast on ESPN2.