On Saturday the 13th-ranked UCF Knights brought some surging offense when they finished with 660 yards of total offense and five turnovers to open the 2020 season 1-0 after beating down Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets for the first time 49-21 on the road Saturday afternoon at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Sophomore quarterback Dillon Gabriel threw for a career high 417 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Knights to their 36th win in the last 40 games.
UCF’ Sophomore Quarterback shared, “The team played really well…the offensive line, it all starts up front. They picked up a lot of pressures. The running backs did a hell of a job. Guys were making plays all over the field, so when that happens, you see what we can do.”
After allowing the Yellow Jackets to get within one score early in the fourth quarter, at 28-21, UCF scored three straight touchdowns to earn the 28-point victory.
The defense did their part as well, recovering three fumbles and picking off two passes. Senior Richie Grant, sophomore Dyllon Lester and true freshman Josh Celiscar each grabbed one ball off the ground on Saturday.
When asked about the Knights’ opener Coach Heupel said, ”The uncertainty of tomorrow for the last six months…the brotherhood is real, it’s strong here. Inside of our locker room, they do love one another. I’m really proud of them for staying the course together and growing together over the last. They’ve made me (better). They’ve made our coaching staff better. We’re closer. We’re better as a football family than we were when we got away from each other in early March.”
UCF rushed for 243 yards as a team, led by Otis Anderson, who carried the ball 18 times for 88 yards and a score. Greg McCrae and Bentavious Thompson also found the end zone on the ground, while rushing for 50 and 30 yards, respectively.
On the other end of Gabriel’s career day were a litany of receivers, including Marlon Williams, who hauled in a career-high 10 receptions for a career-best 154 yards with two scores. Jaylon Robinson, playing in his first game as a Knight, also went over 100, catching six balls for 105 yards. Tre Nixon, who left the game late in the first half with an injury, went for 94 yards and two touchdowns in just two quarters.
The Knights are scheduled to continue the 2020 season next Saturday when they take on East Carolina University Pirates.