UCF outlasts South Florida in shootout
Sophomore Dillon Gabriel passed for 336 yards and four touchdowns, leading Central Florida to a 58-46 win over host South Florida on Friday in an American Athletic Conference game at Tampa, Fla.
Jacob Harris caught three of the scoring passes for UCF (6-3, 5-3 AAC). Harris had five catches for 110 yards.
Gabriel, who also ran for a score, has thrown at least one touchdown in 22 straight games. UCF has scored at least 24 points in 48 straight games, the second-longest streak in the nation.
Jordan McCloud passed for 404 yards and four TDs for the Bulls (1-8, 0-7), who have lost eight straight games. McCloud also ran for a touchdown.
South Florida’s DeVontre Dukes and Bryce Miller caught two TD passes apiece. Miller caught 11 passes for 121 yards.
This UCF-USF rivalry series, called “The War on I-4”, is now tied 6-6 as the Knights have won four straight games.
The Knights on Friday were without leading rusher Ottis Anderson and leading receiver Marlon Williams. The duo has combined this season for 14 touchdowns and more than 1,700 scrimmage yards.
USF was without seven players, including quarterback Noah Johnson and starting corners Vincent Davis and KJ Sails.
Early on in the game, the Bulls played well. USF passed on a 42-yard field goal — a fake throw was unsuccessful — but the Bulls converted on their second possession as McCloud tossed a 23-yard touchdown pass to Dukes. That play came on third-and-15, drawing one-on-one coverage over the top.
From there, though, UCF dominated and went into halftime leading, 31-14.
UCF tied the score on Bentavious Thompson’s 27-yard run on third-and-2, and the Knights closed the first-quarter scoring on Gabriel’s 1-yard TD jump-pass to Jake Hescock.
Gabriel then tossed TD passes of 20 and 25 yards to Harris, and UCF also got a 23-yard field goal from Daniel Obarski.
USF managed a five-yard TD pass from McCloud to Bryce Miller.
USF cut its deficit to 10 points twice in the third quarter as McCloud scored on a 3-yard run and then passed 14 yards to Dukes.
But UCF answered each time as Gabriel passed 47 yards to Harris and added a 12-yard run.
In the fourth quarter, USF cut its deficit to 45-38 on Brian Battie’s 1-yard run with 10:10 left.
But UCF put the game away with TD runs by Greg McCrae (20 yards) and Thompson (2).
–Field Level Media