UCF football defeats Tulane 51-34

UCF football beat Tulane 51-34 this past Saturday at the bounce house in Central Florida. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel completed 26 of his 40 passes for 422 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions as UCF snapped its two-game drought in what looked like a chaotic past three weeks.

Back-to-back losses to Tulsa and Memphis had the Knights experiencing their first losing streak since the 2016 season.

“We can’t take winning for granted. It’s hard,” said UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel, who leads the nation in passing with 2,178 yards and 19 touchdowns. “Everyone in the country prepares to win, and in one game there is only one winner.”

UCF running back Greg McCrae, who rushed for 162 yards, said after the game, “As Coach says, winning is fragile and we have a lot of success here. Being able to win at any level, any time, anyplace, anywhere is a blessing.”

Wide Receiver, Marlon Williams made it clear this is suppose to happen. “Every time that we step on the field, we need to win,” he said.

UCF had a solid drive to close the gap with a 14-play drive that took over eight minutes of the game that ended with six.

“I’m proud of the offense, proud of the offensive linemen,” Gabriel said. “That last eight-minute drive in the fourth quarter. They were chewing away every block. They were tired, but they kept going. The receivers played very well and, of course, the running backs finding holes and continuing to get yards.”

The defense is still a problem and a weak link for the Knights. UCF allowed 34 points to a team that is not considered a highly respected football program. The fact of the matter is that UCF still struggles badly on the defensive end, but was able to get five sacks on Tulane and eleven tackles for loss.

“It changes the game on first and second down,” UCF head coach Josh Heupel said. “It changes the game for our defensive backs and how long they have to be able to last in coverage. It’s all three levels of your defense working together to go out and perform and get a win.”

Central Florida committed four penalties, which is a huge improvement again.

“The guys enjoyed it. They were excited for themselves but for the guys around them too,” Heupel said. “It’s a hard thing to do every single week and you never take it for granted. Hopefully, our guys have learned that lesson and will come back and prepare the right way next week.”

The Knights continue to be the best on offense in Division 1 football as they average 646.8 yards per game, which is No. 1 in the country.

UCF has work to do as it plays Houston on Halloween night. It must improve to win this upcoming matchup.

Photo courtesy of UCFKnights.com