UCF football: Final observations in win over Georgia Tech

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It was a disappointing season in the 2019 campaign for UCF football. The Knights dropped three games last year, and they were all on the road for a total combined of seven points. They started the 2020 season on a good note. This past Saturday, the No. 14 ranked Knights played at Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium with 11,000 fans socially distanced.

Georgia Tech came at 1-0 after defeating Florida State last week 16-13 in a close one. Georgia Tech came into the game with confidence as Georgia Tech started the game with a punch. True freshman Jahmyr Gibbs returned the opening kickoff 75 yards to the UCF 21-yard line. Georgia Tech covered the distance in three plays going up 7-0 early in the first quarter.

Central Florida knew this game was a must win to start the season, and it did just that on the road. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel, the sophomore out of Hawaii, passed for a career-high 417 yards and four touchdowns, helping lead the Knights to a win over Georgia Tech.

UCF got out to a quick start with a 28-7 lead late in the first half. Though, Georgia Tech was within one score early in the fourth quarter.

Star receivers have big shoes to fill in absence to Gabriel Davis playing in the NFL, Tre Nixon and Marlon Williams, both had a couple of touchdowns on the day. UCF also had success on the ground as running back Greg McCrae, Otis Anderson and Bentavious Thompson all had their own score. The Knights rushed for a total of 243 yards and three touchdowns in what was a promising run game for the Knights. Although Georgia Tech rushed for 227 yards, it wasn’t as eye popping as the Knights that scored 21 points with the ground game.

Georgia Tech had many chances to get back into the game with a few solid drives that got them deep into Knights territory. The Yellow Jackets had issues with ball security committing five turnovers and getting a field goal blocked. Throughout the game, it looked like UCF was the better team on all three phases.

Notable Game Stats

  • UCF had 660 yards of total offense.
  • Georgia Tech had 471 yards of total offense.
  • UCF had 417 passing yards.
  • Georgia Tech had 244 passing yards.
  • UCF had 243 yards in the run game.
  • Georgia Tech had 227 yards on the ground.
  • UCF had 31 first downs compared to Georgia Tech’s 21.
  • UCF was 10/16 on third down compared to 7/15 for the Yellow Jackets.

Final Observations

UCF showed it is the real deal once again. The respect will continue to grow for the Knights if they stay perfect this campaign. We are seeing that UCF QB Dillon Gabriel is a very good quarterback who runs the up-tempo offense as good as anyone. With the weapons UCF has, it has some promising young talent. WR Marlon Williams had 10 catches for 154 yards, and Jay Robinson caught six for 105 yards.

UCF had some players get banged up in this matchup, which we will get more updates on later this week with the injury report heading into Game 2 at East Carolina.

Georgia Tech has some really good athletes. QB Jeff Sims had some promising drives and showed maturity in his second college game. As a true freshman, he played well but made more mistakes than one could overcome to beat an elite team like UCF. He was 18 of 36 for 244 yards with a pair of interceptions. The Yellow Jackets concluded the game with six turnovers.

It’s hard at any level of football to win when you commit six turnovers in 60 minutes.

UCF continues its 1-0 week mentality heading into their second road game to start the season, while Georgia Tech prepares for Syracuse this Saturday.

Tomorrow we will preview the UCF and East Carolina matchup this weekend.


Photo courtesy of UCFKnights.com