Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Monday, September 28, 2020

#11 UCF Knights Move Up in Polls After Crushing East Carolina

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 20:40

The UCF Knights (2-0; 1-0 AAC) moved up to #11 in the AP and # 12 in the Coaches Poll after crushing East Carolina (0-1; 0-1 AAC) 51-28. As reported by the American Athletic Conference:

GREENVILLE, N.C. — Dillon Gabriel threw for 408 yards and four touchdowns to help No. 13 UCF beat East Carolina 51-28 on Saturday to open both teams’ American Athletic Conference schedule.

Jaylon Robinson and Marlon Williams each had huge games as Gabriel’s top targets for the Knights (2-0, 1-0). Robinson had nine catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns, while Williams had a career-best 13 catches for 136 yards.

Throw in Greg McCrae’s short first-quarter scoring run to lead a productive ground game, and UCF finished with 632 yards with its fast-paced offense pushing the tempo to keep the pressure on. The Knights had a penalty-filled start in the first quarter — including four false-start penalties while trying to get off their first offensive snap — before settling in and blowing the game open with a pair of touchdowns in the final 5 minutes before halftime.

Holton Ahlers threw for 215 yards and three TDs for the Pirates (0-1, 0-1), who were making a delayed start to the season after coronavirus-related scheduling changes. And it came in an essentially empty Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium due to COVID-19 protocols, with only a smattering of player family members in attendance.

ECU scored on its opening drive, but lost three first-half turnovers and didn’t make it back to the end zone until the Knights led 41-7 early in the third. By the time it was over, the school said the Pirates had come within 2 yards of matching the most allowed in any season opener in program history.

This was the second road game to start the season for the Knights, who opened with a 28-point win at Georgia Tech while amassing 660 yards. While the offense hummed along again, Josh Heupel’s squad will have to start cleaning up a penalty problem. UCF had 19 penalties for 139 yards, with 10 coming in the first quarter and seven of those false-start flags.

The Knights play their first home game next Saturday against Tulsa. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm and the game will be televised on ESPN2. The Pirates travel to Georgia State next Saturday. Check out video highlights of the Knights’ win over ECU, courtesy of the AAC, below:

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