Knights Fall to No. 7 Cincinnati

Postgame Notes Stats (PDF)

ORLANDO - The UCF football team came up just short of upsetting seventh-ranked Cincinnati, falling to the Bearcats by a score of 36-33 in an American Athletic Conference contest Saturday afternoon at the Bounce House.
The Knights (5-3, 4-3) got out to a hot start, scoring touchdowns on two of their first three possessions and taking a 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. Greg McCrae punched in a three-yard score to get things started and Dillon Gabriel found Marlon Williams on a six-yard touchdown to extend the UCF advantage.
Cincinnati (8-0, 6-0) fought back with an early second quarter touchdown, a field goal and another trip to the end zone late in the second to take a 19-14 lead.
UCF responded with a quick drive that resulted in three points on a 36-yard field goal from Daniel Obarski to cut the Bearcats lead to 19-17 at the break.
Cincinnati got another field goal early in the second half and the Knights fought back with another Gabriel to Williams connection, this time a 19-yard strike, giving UCF a 25-22 advantage with less than four minutes to play in the third quarter.
The Bearcats took control late in the game with a pair of touchdowns that put the top-ten team in front for good. A late score from Gabriel to Jaylon Robinson wasn't enough, as the Knights fell to Cincinnati 36-33.
UCF is scheduled to finish out the regular season on Black Friday of next week, taking on South Florida in the War On I-4, 3:30 p.m. on ESPN at Raymond James Stadium.  
From Coach Heupel
"Little things add up and doing everything right on and off the field will help us achieve what we want to on the field, but we're not far off. I told the team I was really proud of their effort. We talked about competing for four quarters. I thought our kids responded and continued to compete."
From Richie Grant
"There were some moments in the game with miscommunication…sometimes when we let the game get away from us, but we came to play. You could see that. Beside those few times, we came to play. We knew it was a big game. We knew they were a good opponent and we put our best foot forward. You just have to stop those mistakes."
• The Knights fell to 27-7 with Josh Heupel at the helm.
• Cincinnati evened the all-time series against UCF at 3-3 and won for the first time in Orlando.
• The Knights scored on the ground and through the air, their 47th straight game doing so, a streak that leads the nation.
• Saturday marked the highest ranked opponent UCF has hosted at the Bounce House and the highest ranked opponent overall since defeating no. 7 Auburn in the 2018 Peach Bowl.
• UCF scored 30 or more points for the 44th time in its last 46 games and scored 24 or more points for the 47th consecutive game, a streak that ranks second in the nation.
• Dillon Gabriel threw a touchdown pass for the 21st straight game, the fourth longest streak in UCF history. It is the longest streak for a Knight to start his career.
• Greg McCrae rushed for his 27th career rushing touchdown, which is tied for the fourth most in program history (Alex Haynes, 2001-04).
• Marlon Williams caught eight balls for 97 yards and two touchdowns, putting him in a tie with Rocky Ross (2006-09) for ninth all-time at UCF with 157 career receptions.
• The Knights came into the game leading the nation with 19 takeaways and got their 20th on Saturday.
• Amari Johnson recorded the first fumble recovery of his career, picking up a muffed punt.
• Richie Grant matched his career high with 16 tackles.