Knights Calm Cougars in 44-21 Road Win

Postgame Notes Stats (PDF)

HOUSTON – The UCF football team dominated from start to finish, winning 44-21 on the road at Houston Saturday afternoon in an American Athletic Conference contest at TDECU Stadium.
The Knights defense, without four starters, held the Houston offense to 14 points in the game and turned the Cougars over twice in the win.
On the first drive of the game, UCF (4-2, 3-2) forced Houston (2-2, 2-1) to punt. The Knights then came right back and put three points on the board with one of Daniel Obarski's three made field goals in the contest.
After a fumble recovery touchdown gave Houston a short, four-point lead, UCF scored 20 straight points to take a 23-7 lead at halftime. The Knights cruised to the 23-point victory, scoring three second-half touchdowns.
Eriq Gilyard and Richie Grant both recorded interceptions for the #UCFierce defense, while Grant, Landon Woodson and Noah Hancock all had sacks in the win. For Grant, a two-time all-conference safety, it was the first sack of his career.
And the nation's top offense didn't miss a beat. Dillon Gabriel led the Knights to 681 yards of offense, after coming into the weekend on pace to set a new FBS record with 646.8 yards of total offense per game.
The sophomore quarterback went over 300 yards passing for the sixth straight game to start the 2020 season and threw two touchdowns, both to Ryan O'Keefe.
O'Keefe, a native Texan, caught three passes for 97 yards and his second and third career scores. Teammate Jaylon Robinson, also from Texas, went over 100 yards, going for five catches and 107 yards, the fifth 100-yard game in six outings for the sophomore.
It was the running attack that made the difference, though, as the Knights finished with a season high 353 yards on the ground.
Both Otis Anderson and Greg McCrae went over 100 yards, the first UCF duo to do so since Kevin Smith and Jason Peters in 2006.
Anderson rushed 16 times for 170 yards and a score, McCrae rushed 16 times for 107 yards and a score, and Bentavious Thompson carried the ball eight times for 87 yards and a touchdown.
The Knights will now take their second off week of the season before returning to the Bounce House to host Temple on Nov. 14.

From Coach Heupel
"It was our best defensive effort of the season. The turnovers were big. Some young guys had the opportunity to step up. The DNA of the program is when somebody goes down the next guy steps up. I'm really proud of the way our defensive players competed and played today."
From Dillon Gabriel
"The o-line and running backs played extremely well. They dominated the game. It showed, but when the defense comes out how they came out, it's just taking advantage of what they're giving. The backs were running really well, and the o-line protected up front. When you add that together, you see what happens."
• The Knights have now won 39 times in their last 45 games dating back to the start of the 2017 season.
• UCF defeated Houston for the second straight time and improved to 7-3 all-time against the Cougars. UCF now holds a 3-2 advantage in games played in Houston.
• The Knights scored on the ground and through the air, their 45th straight game doing so, a streak that leads the nation.
• UCF scored 30 or more points for the 42nd time in its last 44 games, scored 40 or more points for the 28th time in the last 44, and scored 24 or more points for the 45th consecutive game, a streak that leads the nation.
• Greg McCrae recorded the 24th rushing touchdown of his career, which ties him with Daunte Culpepper for sixth most in UCF history. He went over 100 yards rushing for the second straight game and the sixth time in his career. He now has 2,358 rushing yards in his career, which is eighth most all-time at UCF.
• Otis Anderson also went over 100 yards rushing, finishing with a team-high 170 yards on the ground, the third 100-yard game of his career. Anderson scored the 16th rushing touchdow of his career.
• The duo were the first pair of Knights to go over 100 rushing yards in the same game since Kevin Smith and Jason Peters did it against Marshall on Oct. 4, 2006.
• The Knights came into the weekend ranked second in the nation with 14 turnovers and got their 15th and 16th turnovers on Saturday.
• Richie Grant recorded the 10th interception of his career, which is tied with Josh Robinson for the fifth most in program history.
• Grant, a senior and two-time all-conference safety, record the first sack of his career.