The UCF Knights had no trouble destroying Stanford 45-27 in front of a sold out Spectrum Stadium in Orlando. Even Tiger Woods was in the house, but was undoubtedly disappointed as he wore his Stanford Cardinals red shirt.
The Power 5 former powerhouse Cardinals were shredded by freshman Dillon Gabriel who went 22 for 30 for 347 yards and four touchdowns in the game including three in the first quarter.
It was Gabriel’s second consecutive start this year, and the Hawaii native proved to be solid at quarterback, though UCF head coach Josh Heupel would not commit naming a starter after the game. Notre Dame transfer Brandon Wimbush, made a brief appearance in the first half on a second-and-goal which coach Heupel says was a designed play.
A win this dominate is the biggest for UCF since their undefeated 2017 season. The Knights should garner more national attention this week as they were not expected to blow out Stanford.
The Cardinals were coming off of a 45-20 whooping by USC, but where glad to have junior QB K.J. Costello running the offense after a head injury against Northwestern. Costello managed to generate 199 yards passing with 1 touchdown, but also threw one interception.
The Knights generated a whopping 545 yards of offense including 198 yards on the ground.
“It’s a big win for the program and the kids are excited about it and they’ll enjoy it tonight and move on to the next one,” said coach Heupel.
The Knights lightening fast offense ran over Stanford easily, scoring 21 points midway through the first quarter, finishing the first quarter with a commanding 28-7 lead. Gabriel managed to throw touchdowns to Marlon Williams, Tre Nixon, Gabriel Davis, and tight end Jake Hescock.
UCF tailback Greg McCrae finished with a season-high 109 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. It was McCrae’s first 100-yard rushing game since he rushed for 206 yards during the Knights’ win over Memphis in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game last year.
Aaron Robinson was close to have a defensive touchdown after making his first career interception. He caught a tipped Costello pass, but stepped out of bounds before he ran it in to the end zone. It would have been UCF’s first defensive TD of the year.
UCF travels to Pittsburgh next Saturday for a meeting with the Panthers (1-2),