UCF Knights Lose to Louisville 42-35 After Game-Winning Interception Return for Touchdown in Final Seconds
By Space Coast Daily // September 18, 2021
Next Game: at Navy 3:30 p.m.
— ACC Football (@ACCFootball) September 18, 2021
ORLANDO, FLORIDA (UCF Knights) – The UCF football team dropped a wild, 42-35, back-and-forth affair Friday night at Cardinal Stadium, falling to 2-1 on the season.
With 1:21 to play in the fourth quarter, junior quarterback Dillon Gabriel rushed in for a 6-yard touchdown to tie the game at 35-35 and give the Knights (2-1) a chance to send it to overtime.
On the ensuing possession, as the Cardinals (2-1) were driving in UCF territory, defensive end Tre’mon Morris-Brash intercepted Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham to give the Knights an opportunity to win the game with less than 30 seconds to play.
On the next play, Gabriel was picked off by Jaylin Alderman, who returned it for a 66-yard touchdown and seal the victory for the Cardinals.
Gabriel threw for three touchdowns in the loss, rushed for the late-game touchdown, and recorded the first receiving touchdown of his career, catching a 20-yard touchdown pass from Ryan O’Keefe in the third quarter.
ABOVE VIDEO: Malik Cunningham threw for 265 YDS and 1 TD while running for 99 YDS and 2 TD as the Louisville Cardinals beat the UCF Knights 42-35.
O’Keefe also caught a touchdown from Gabriel, as did Jaylon Robinson and Brandon Johnson, who has caught a touchdown pass in each of his first three games as a Knight.
Cunningham led Louisville with 265 passing yards and a score through the air, in addition to 99 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
The Knights will return to action in two weeks when they play at Navy in their first conference game of the season.