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LSU’s Fiesta Bowl win over UCF by the numbers

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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LSU’s victory on Tuesday in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl over UCF 40 – 32 snapped the nation’s longest winning streak at 25 games.

Those were the most important numbers at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, but here are some other ones that you will find compelling and intriguing coming out of the game:

745 – that’s the number of days since UCF last lost a football game. It came on December 16th of 2016 in the Cure Bowl in Orlando in a defeat against Arkansas State.

22, 7. That would be the number of opponents that UCF defeated during the streak (Memphis four times) and the number of conferences those opponents came from over the last 2 years.

86 – the number of plays LSU ran on UCF taking a page out of the Knights book on how they’ve beaten so many of their opponents. 52 of those plays were runs for 161 yards

44:11- The Tigers time of possession in minutes for the game, as they critically killed much of the fourth quarter keeping UCF’s offense off the field and preventing any chance at a comeback.

10- the number of consecutive incompletions that red-shirt freshman quarterback Darriel Mack ended the game with, including his final pass that was intercepted with :20 left. Mack clearly has to develop as a passer, if UCF has hopes of contending in 2019.

93- the number of yards UCF’s Bam Moore covered with his first quarter interception return for a touchdown. That is the longest defensive score in the history of the Fiesta Bowl:

0- the number of timeouts that LSU had remaining with over three minutes left in the third quarter. This after they had already blown two of them, and then, elected to challenge a fumbled punt that UCF recovered. Throughout the fourth quarter it looked as though not having those timeouts would end up being a factor. And sure enough, it became a one-score game in the final minutes with LSU unable to stop the clock and talk about anything.

67, 63, 78, 73 and 69those were the length in yards of the five impressive scoring drives by quarterback Joe Burrow and the Tigers right after they trailed 14 – 3 in the first quarter. By the time it was over, they had reversed an 11 Point deficit into a 34-21 third quarter lead and never looked back.

And finally,

242- That’s the number of days until UCF has to wait to start a new streak, as they are scheduled to host FAMU at Spectrum Stadium on August 31.

While it seems like a long time, it will be here before we know it.

UCF Knights

Week three power rankings are tighter at top

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 of the college football season was not very kind to a handful off the state university’s last weekend. While week 1 of the NFL season was brutal for our in-state teams, as well. After a under whelming weekend for Florida football lets take a look at how things stack up in our rankings:

Florida Gators- The Gators were one of the only bright spots last week in the State. It took Florida until the 2nd quarter to find the endzone, which is something they surely didn’t envision. From there, they would head to an easy 45-0 victory over UT-Martin. The Gators did suffer two potential major losses on the night. RB/WR Kadarius Toney and DB C.J. Henderson were both injured and could miss the conference opener at Kentucky next week.

UCF Knights- UCF put up a lot of points (above) and a lot of yards, yet again. The Knights went over 500 yards and for the 28th game in a row put up 30 points. Freshman Dillon Gabriel silenced a crowd of over 30,000 that was the largest in program history for FAU. The Knights put up 14 points in both the first and second quarter on their way to a blowout victory. This week they face Stanford coming from California into the “Bounce House.”

This game was looking like a ranked match up before the Cardinal lost to USC late last Saturday night. Still, this is a big game for Knights against a Power-5 opponent and coach Josh Heupel knows they have to be impressive.

Florida State Seminoles- The Noles slide into the 3 spot or did they really back up into it? FSU was painfully close to loosing at home to ULM. Had the Warhawks gone for two, like many expected them to do, they might have walked out of Tallahassee with Willie Taggart contract in hand.

For the second week in a row the Noles had a 2nd half collapse. After leading 24-7 at the break they went into the 4th quarter still up 24-21, but then faltered badly, again, only to hang on 45-44 in OT. Heading into conference play this weekend the Noles will need to get a grip on things or they won’t end well starting at Virginia Saturday night.

Miami Hurricanes- The Canes were oh so close last week. In the first true road game of the year the U almost took one in Chapel Hill. Freshman Jarren Williams had a great bounce back performance throwing for 300 yards and two touchdowns. After being down all game the Canes took the lead for the first time in the fourth quarter with 4:45 left to play.

The Hurricanes though still want this one back, as UNC freshman QB Sam Howell hit a 20-yard pass on 4th and 17 to keep the game winning drive going. The Canes would drive down the field to attempt a 49-yard field goal that was missed. Miami though should get into the win column next week against Bethune- Cookman.

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UCF Knights

Is it freshman QB Dillon Gabriel’s job at UCF already?

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

When quarterback Brandon Wimbush decided to transfer from Notre Dame to UCF, he knew he would be in a QB battle. After Darriel Mack Jr. went out with an off season broken ankle, it appeared the job was all his. However, in the season opener against FAMU, he split reps with freshman, Dillon Gabriel. Now, after Gabriel played the entire game Saturday night at FAU, we’re left to wonder if the job belongs to the freshman?

Both QBs had played well against the over-matched Rattlers in week one leaving the door open for more split duty. And, coach Josh Heupel even said the job wouldn’t be Wimbush’s 100 percent.

Well, against FAU this past Saturday though it was just the freshman Gabriel who saw all the action. Wimbush was held out with an undisclosed  injury, and now the question is? will he get back in immediately? Gabriel went only 7/19, but had touchdown passes of 57 and 74 yards ending the night with 245 yards:

That many yards on that few completions shows the big play potential of UCF’s offense, and Gabriel led four TD drives in the first half of the blowout win.

Heupel said Wimbush could have played in an emergency and didn’t say anything about his availability for this weekend’s game Stanford.

After just being involved in a QB controversy that saw him go to the bench last year at Notre Dame,  Wimbush might have walked right into another one in Orlando. If he is indeed healthy enough to play in the game against Stanford, it will be interesting to see who starts?

This will be one of the bigger games for the Knights this season and Wimbush has played in some big games in his career from his time in South Bend. We don’t know right now, but come Saturday we may find out what Heupel and has staff think of Gabriel leading them, at least for now. And, do we have a real QB controversy on our hands?

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