UCF thumps Tulane on Gabriel’s five TD passes
Dillon Gabriel passed for five touchdowns — including three to wide receiver Marlon Williams — leading the host UCF to a 51-34 win over the Tulane in an American Athletic Conference game on Saturday afternoon at Orlando, Fla.
The Knights (3-2, 2-2) snapped a two-game losing streak, their longest skid since 2016.
Tulane (2-4, 0-4) lost its third straight game. Tulane is 0-5 all-time at Orlando against UCF.
Gabriel, who entered the game leading the nation in passing yards while at the throttle of the nation’s highest-scoring offense, threw for 307 yards and three TDs in the first half. He finished the game by completing 26-of-40 passes for 422 yards.
UCF also got 162 rushing yards and a touchdown from Greg McCrae. Williams caught nine passes for 174 yards.
Michael Pratt, Tulane’s first true-freshman starting quarterback since 1975, completed 14-of-24 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception.
Tulane led 14-10 after the first quarter, but that turned out to be the last advantage for the Green Wave.
McRae ran 54 yards on the game’s first play from scrimmage, setting up Daniel Obarski’s 23-yard field goal.
Tulane took a 7-3 lead on Pratt’s 28-yard TD pass to Duece Watts, who caught the ball between two defenders and ran into the end zone.
UCF surged back on top as Gabriel scrambled before firing a 54-yard TD pass to Williams.
Tulane took its final lead on Pratt’s 20-yard TD pass into tight coverage to Jha’Quan Jackson.
UCF dominated the second quarter, scoring four touchdowns while holding Tulane scoreless, while taking a 37-14 lead into halftime.
UCF’s second-quarter TDs included runs by McCrae (3 yards) and Bentavious Thompson (2 yards), as well as a 4-yard flip from Gabriel to tight end Jake Hescock.
UCF’s final score of the half came with just five seconds remaining on a 7-yard pass to Williams.
Tulane opened the third quarter with a 12-play, 75-yard drive that included a fourth-down conversion. The drive ended when Stephon Huderson fumbled, but the ball was recovered in the end zone by tight end Tyrick James as UCF’s advantage was cut to 37-21.
Tulane never got any closer the rest of the game.
–Field Level Media