Jacksonville Sports Day

UCF: Big Day by Gabriel Leads Rout of Tulane, 51-34

ORLANDO – The UCF football team defeated Tulane by a score of 51-34 Saturday afternoon in Orlando.

Sophomore Dillon Gabriel threw for 422 yards and five touchdowns, becoming just the second UCF quarterback since, Darin Slack in 1987, to throw for five touchdowns in back-to-back games.

The nation’s leading offense scored on the first drive of the game and took off in the second quarter, scoring 27 straight points to take a 37-14 lead at halftime.

“What they did on the field today and how they handled the adversity, they stuck together as a football team, they played for one another today, they played hard and did a great job of preparing all week, I’m really proud of what they did today and it gives us an opportunity to continue to become closer as a football team and get better as a football team,” said UCF head coach Josh Heupel.

The Knights (3-2, 2-2) bounced back after losing back-to-back games for the first time since 2016 with a 51-point outing that needed no additional scoring in the fourth quarter to get the job done.

The Green Wave (2-4, 0-4) fought back early, taking a 14-10 edge late in the first quarter, but couldn’t keep up with the Knights, who finished with 689 yards of total offense.

Gabriel, who came into the weekend leading the nation in passing, went over 400 yards for the fourth time in five games, passing Daunte Culpepper and Ryan Schneider for the most 400-yard passing games in a career at UCF.

He finished with 422 yards on 26-of-40 with five touchdowns. Gabriel has now had five touchdowns in back-to-back games.

The lefty hit senior Marlon Williams time and time again, as the receiving went over 100 yards for the fourth time in five games, finishing with nine catches for 174 yards and a career-high three touchdowns.

Williams entered the game leading the nation in both receptions and receiving yards per game and got help from Jacob Harris, who had two catches for 96 yards and a score, and Jaylon Robinson, who totaled four receptions for 63 yards.

Greg McCrae gave the Knights a healthy balance of run and pass, rushing a career-high 25 times for 162 yards and a score. It was the first time since 2018 that UCF had a 300-yard passer, a 100-rusher and a 100-yard receiver.

The defense made stops when it needed to, notably in the second quarter when the Green Wave was shutout.

UCF totaled season highs with 11.0 tackles for loss and five sacks. Kenny Turnier and Randy Charlton had two sacks each, while Anthony Montalvo added another.

Derek Gainous also added to UCF’s turnover total in 2020, which was second in the nation coming into Saturday, with his first career interception, essentially putting the game away.

The Knights will now head on the road to take on Houston next weekend. UCF and the Cougars are scheduled to kickoff at 2 p.m.

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