WATCH: University of Central Florida Knights Pummel East Carolina Pirates, 51-28
By ucfknights.com // September 26, 2020
KNIGHTS FACE TULSA IN ORLANDO OCT. 3
ABOVE VIDEO: The 13th-ranked UCF football team scored 42-unanswered points, went over 600 yards in total offense and turned the Pirates over five times in a road route of ECU, winning 51-28 Saturday afternoon at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
GREENVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA (ucfknights.com) – The 13th-ranked UCF football team scored 42-unanswered points, went over 600 yards in total offense and turned the Pirates over five times in a road route of ECU, winning 51-28 Saturday afternoon at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
After allowing its opponent to score first for the second straight game, the Knights (2-0, 1-0) hit back again and again until the lead ballooned to 41-7 early in the third quarter.
During that time, sophomore quarterback Dillon Gabriel completed a school-record 18 consecutive passes en route to a second straight 400-yard passing game, finishing with 408 yards and four touchdowns for the second consecutive game.
The UCF defense continued to keep ECU (0-1, 0-1) at bay with stops and takeaways, turning the Pirates over on three straight possessions with a trio of fumbles.
Junior Eriq Gilyard, senior Antwan Collier and senior Christopher DeLoach each forced fumbles in the first quarter, while Gilyard, senior Richie Grant and junior Anthony Montalvo all had fumble recoveries during that span. Junior Derek Gainous added a forced fumble late in the game.
Grant also recorded his first interception of the season, a pick in the end zone in the third quarter. It was the eighth of his career, which is the eighth most in UCF history.
Of Gabriel’s four touchdown passes, two went to Jaylon Robinson in his second game as a Knight. The speedy wideout finished with nine catches and went over 100 yards receiving for the second straight game, totaling a career-high 150.
Senior Marlon Williams also went over 100 yards for the second time in as many games, grabbing 13 balls for 136 yards. Senior Jacob Harris – 5 catches for 69 yards – also found the end zone, as did senior Jake Hescock on his only reception of the game.
Senior running back Greg McCrae and freshman Johnny Richardson each scored once on the ground, the 21st time for the former, which is the eighth most in school history. It was the first score for the rookie.
The Knights are now scheduled to continue the 2020 season with its home opener next Saturday. UCF hosts Tulsa at the Bounce House at 7:30 p.m. with coverage on ESPN2 and FM 96.9 The Game.
From Coach Heupel
“I told the guys in the locker room to enjoy this. Wins are hard to come by. You look at the yards offensively that we had, the points we put up…you look at the ability of our defense to physically dominate the middle part of the football game, the turnovers that they caused, you enjoy that. We’ll get back on Monday, correct things and get better.”
From Dillon Gabriel
“The main goal today was to get a win. That’s all we can do. I’m proud of the guys. Everybody played really well, and there’s still a lot we can fix. With the penalties and other things we can fix, the ceiling is really high.”
• The Knights improved to 24-4 with Josh Heupel at the helm.
• It marked UCF’s fifth straight win over ECU and brings the Knights within one game in the all-time series against the Pirates, 10-9.
• The 19 all-time meetings against ECU mark the most game played against a single team in the history of the UCF football program.
• The Knights have won 37 of their last 41 games dating back to the start of the 2017 season.
• UCF scored 30 or more points for the 39th time in the last 40 games, 40 points or more for the 25th time in the last 40 games and 50 or more for the 13th time in the last 40 outings.
• The Knights scored on the ground and through the air, their 41st straight game doing so, a streak that leads the nation.
• Eight out of UCF’s nine scoring drives were under three minutes and five were under two minutes.
• Dillon Gabriel recorded his sixth career 300-yard passing game, moving into fourth place by himself in program history, as well as his second 400-yard passing game, finishing with 408 yards. He is now only the fourth UCF quarterback with multiple 400-yard passing games in a single-season (Culpepper, Schneider, Milton) and becomes the first Knight to do it in back-to-back games.
• Jaylon Robinson snagged his first career touchdown, a 64-yard score in the second quarter, and then added another, finishing with nine catches for 150 yards, his second straight game over 100 yards.
• Robinson and Williams both went over 100 yards receiving, the second straight game the Knights have had two players with 100+ receiving yards, tying the UCF reocrd for such games in a season.
• The Knights totaled 8.0 tackles for loss on the day after leading the nation with 9.0 TFLs per game a season ago. Eight different Knights were responsible for tackles for loss on Saturday.
• Eriq Gilyard forced his second fumble in as many games and recovered the first fumble of his career, while leading the Knights with 2.0 TFLs.
• Richie Grant recovered a fumble for the second time in two games, the third of his career and snagged his first pick of the season, the eighth of his career, which is tied for eighth-most in program history.