Dillon Gabriel leads UCF past East Carolina 41-28

The Knights lose focus a bit in the third quarter, allowing 17 unanswered points.
UCF running back Bentavious Thompson, right, runs for a 32-yard touchdown as he gets a block from offensive lineman Edward Collins (70) against East Carolina defensive lineman Chance Purvis, center, during the first half in Orlando. John Raoux  |  AP
UCF running back Bentavious Thompson, right, runs for a 32-yard touchdown as he gets a block from offensive lineman Edward Collins (70) against East Carolina defensive lineman Chance Purvis, center, during the first half in Orlando. John Raoux | AP
Published October 19

ORLANDO — Dillon Gabriel threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as UCF beat East Carolina 41-28 on Saturday night.

Gabriel had a career-high 365 yards passing for the Knights (5-2, 2-1 American Athletic Conference) who scored 35 points in the first half. Gabriel Davis caught two touchdown passes and had 164 yards receiving. Otis Anderson ran for 80 yards on 18 carries.

The Knights scored three touchdowns in the first quarter beginning with Gabriel’s keeper to cap a 92-yard drive. Greg McCrae took it in from the 4 after that and Bentavious Thompson streaked 32 yards to close the quarter with a 21-0 lead.

Backup quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. threw a 33-yard touchdown to Davis early in the second quarter and Gabriel returned on the next drive to hit Davis again from 16 yards for a 35-3 advantage with 1:09 left in the half.

The Knights allowed 17-unanswered ECU points in the third quarter before Gabriel found Tre Nixon for a 53-yard score to lead 41-22.

Holton Ahlers had 313 yards and a touchdown passing and ran for another score for the Pirates (3-4, 0-3).

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