UCF Knights Cruise To 48-14 Win Over Florida Atlantic, Freshman QB Dillon Gabriel Makes First Start

By  //  September 8, 2019

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ABOVE VIDEO: All of the top plays from UCF’s 48-14 win at FAU, as freshman Dillon Gabriel threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another in his first career start.

BOCA RATON, FLORIDA (UCF Knights) – Freshman quarterback Dillon Gabriel led the UCF football team to a 48-14 road victory over FAU Saturday night in Boca Raton. Gabriel threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another as the No. 18/17 Knights improved to 2-0 in the freshman’s first career start.

“I’m proud of the way the guys played for four quarters in all three phases of the game,” UCF head coach Josh Heupel said after the game.

Gabriel finished just 7-of-19 passing, but totaled 245 yards through the air, finishing the night with 35 yards per completion. He also rushed for 19 yards and a score, one of five Knights to find the end zone on the ground Saturday.

UCF gashed the FAU defense for 312 rushing yards, the second straight game the Knights eclipsed the 300-yard rushing mark.

Running backs Greg McCrae, Adrian Killins Jr., Otis Anderson and Bentavious Thompson all scored rushing touchdowns for the Knights. McCrae finished with 93 yards, Thompson had 91, Anderson totaled 75, and Killins had 37 as UCF averaged 6.6 yards per rush in the game.

“I’m proud of that group,” Heupel said of the running backs. “They cheer for one another and they’ve done a great job of understanding what we’re doing against the looks that we’re seeing and getting to the right spot.”

After McCrae scored on the first drive, Gabriel went to the air and hit Jacob Harris for a 57-yard touchdown to put the Knights up 14-0 early. Gabriel’s second passing touchdown was a 74-yard strike down the middle to Killins.

The senior running back’s two touchdowns gave him 29 total touchdowns in his career, tying him for fourth all-time in UCF history, matching David Rhodes’ total form 1991-94.

The UCF defense was equally impressive for the second straight outing, allowing just one second half touchdown and two first half field goals.

“I thought defensively, the defensive line changed the game the entire night,” Heupel said. “They played on the other side of the line of scrimmage and did a fantastic job.”

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The Knights had five sacks and 16 tackles for loss, as they were in the FAU backfield all night. Eric Mitchell and Mason Cholewa had 2.5 tackles for loss each to lead the way.

After failing to record a turnover for the first time in 33 games last week, the Knights picked up their first of the season on Saturday as newcomer Tay Gowan snagged a pick for his first interception in black and gold.

With the win UCF improved its program-record road winning streak to 10 games. The Knights are now 3-0 all-time against FAU and look to continue their winning ways next Saturday at Spectrum Stadium when they host Stanford at 3:30 p.m.

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