UCF and Memphis have played some classic college football games and Saturday’s showdown was no exception.
Memphis quarterback Brady White outdueled UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel, finding receiver Calvin Austin for a game-winning four-yard touchdown pass as the Tigers (2-1, 1-1 AAC) scored 21 fourth-quarter points to earn a 50-49 home win over the Knights Saturday.
UCF (2-2, 1-2 AAC) hadn’t lost two consecutive games since the end of the 2016 season.
The loss snapped a 13-game UCF win streak against Memphis and was the first Tigers' win over the Knights since Sept. 22, 1990.
Gabriel set a school record with 601 passing yards and five touchdowns, including scores of 85 and 93 yards as the Knights matched the Tigers' offensive fireworks much of the game.
UCF kicker Daniel Obarski, however, missed a 40-yard field goal with 19 seconds left to seal the Tigers’ win.
The two teams combined for 1,503 yards of total offense — 756 of those amassed in the first half.
It was the first time this season that UCF featured a 100-yard receiving trio, with Marlon Williams, Jaylon Robinson and Ryan O’Keefe all passing the century mark.
Williams finished with a career-high 169 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Robinson added a career-high 151 yards and two touchdowns. O’Keefe had a career-high 175 yards highlighted by a 93-yard touchdown, the longest play from scrimmage this season.
The Knights used a strong push from their defensive front to force two sacks and five tackles for a loss in the first half.
Safety Richie Grant forced an early fumble on a 29-yard run by Memphis running back Rodrigues Clark and Antwan Collier recovered in the end zone.
It was the 10th fumble forced and the ninth fumble recovery by the Knights' defense this season.
However, the UCF defense couldn’t keep up in the second half and consistently failed to stop the Tigers' offense.
Two weeks after committing 18 penalties, including 11 false starts, in during disappointing 35-26 loss to Tulsa on Oct. 10, the Knights didn’t commit an offensive penalty until the 12:53 mark in the fourth quarter.
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Matt Murschel at email@example.com.
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