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UCF Knights

UCF/FAU game close to a sellout

Abbey Radeka

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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The Knights are heading Boca Raton to take on Florida Atlantic this weekend, and bringing quite a big crowd with them. UCF is looking to go 3-0 in the all-time series against the Owls in front of a sold out stadium.

FAU’s recently expanded on campus stadium holds just under 30,000, and there are reportedly only 600 tickets remaining as of Thursday afternoon.

Some UCF fans that have had trouble finding a reasonably priced ticket have actually purchased $60 FAU season tickets, as they are cheaper than most of the resale prices for just this weekend’s game.

While UCF is the obvious favorites this week, they are only slated to win by 10 points, and FAU has proven to be tough competitors after playing an even second half with Ohio State last weekend after falling behind by 28 points in the first quarter.

Both UCF quarterbacks are likely going to see game action again this week, after two great performances against FAMU. Brandon Wimbush, a grad transfer from Notre Dame, got it started with a five-play 80-yard drive ending with a 37-yard touchdown, seeing the majority of action. Though freshman Dillon Gabriel, drawing comparisons already to McKenzie Milton, finished the night 9-13 for 127 yards in the air with the three scores.

On offense, the Knights are now looking at the possibility of having two playable quarterbacks. Plus, last year’s starter at the end of the year, Darriel Mack, Jr., is recovery quickly from an off season broken ankle.

On defense, the Knights did everything they were supposed to do as well, earning the shutout to start the year, though they will be slightly more tested against FAU’s Chris Robison who went 22-of-34 against Ohio State.

Earlier this week, the Knights dropped down one spot on the AP poll even after the 62 point blowout. Another big win against a tougher competitor like FAU would help their chances of moving back up in the poll.

Abbey is a native Floridan who grew up a fan of all Tampa Bay sports teams. She’s recently graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Media Communication Studies. In her time at FSU, she was an In-Game Host for the Basketball and Baseball teams, and reported for Seminole Sports Magazine, producing feature stories that appeared on Fox Sports Sun. She’s excited to share her perspective on all of Florida’s Football teams, especially the Seminoles.

UCF Knights

UCF WR Gabe Davis will turn pro

Jamil King

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
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Next year’s UCF offense took a big hit Wednesday , but in the long run, the player leaving may help the program with more publicity at the next level.

Star wide receiver Gabriel Davis has decided to forgo his senior season and enter the upcoming NFL draft.

Davis is a true “Florida Boy” growing up in Sanford, and playingl ball at Seminole High school. He has been dominant in his time at UCF, has become one of the best wideouts in the state, arguably the best in his conference and one of the more underrated players in the country.

His numbers have improved each season. As a freshman, he had 27 catches for 391 yards and four touchdowns. As a sophomore, he had 53 catches for 815 yards and seven touchdowns. Then, this season Davis had 72 catches for 1,241 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Last season Davis finished on the American All-conference second team. This year, however, he finds himself on the first team and will hope the accolades don’t stop there.

Davis has all of the prototypical traits to be an “X” receiver in the NFL. He has the size at 6’3, but could work on his frame, getting up his listed weight at 212 pounds. In the passing league that is the NFL, teams are always looking for someone with big play ability. Davis is just that, averaging 16 yards a catch for his career.

He has the ability to take the top of a defense with his size and speed, which will intrigue scouts. One area of his game he will likely work on in the offseason will be running after the catch.

We all know his ability to kill you downfield, but scouts will also want to see what he can do catching a short pass. With an absolutely stacked class at the position, it will be interesting to see where Davis goes when the draft rolls around.

Already underrated being from an AAC school expect that to continue during draft time, but also expect him to rise to the occasion.

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UCF Knights

UCF blows out USF- is it the end for Charlie Strong?

Florida Football Insiders

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Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
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It wasn’t an unexpected result, as UCF won for the third straight time in the rivalry matchup with USF, 34 – 7 Friday night in Orlando. The bigger question is: was it the end for third-year Bulls coach Charlie Strong?

First to the game. The Knights got what they needed in the first half, as freshman quarterback Dillon Gabriel led them on three scoring drives to build a 21 – 0 lead from which USF never recovered. Gabriel threw two touchdown passes to his favorite target this season, receiver Gabe Davis (above), and the lead grew to 24 – 0 at the half.

The same pattern continued with USF’s offense as has been the case for much of this season. The Bulls mounted a little to nothing offensively throughout the game until finally breaking through, when running back Johnny Ford scored on a fourth-and-goal late in the third quarter. That trimmed the lead to 24 – 7.

However, Backup QB Darriel Mack led the next Knights answer going 82 yards in 8 plays with Mack carrying two yards for UCF’s final TD of the evening and all but, putting the game away.

The win was UCF’s ninth on the season and they await to find out what bowl game the American Conference will slot them in. This is the first time in three years that the Knights have not played in the championship game of the American Conference. They won the previous two defeating the Memphis Tigers both times and ended up playing in a New Year’s Six bowl game each time, as well.

That included their loss in the Fiesta Bowl to LSU a year ago, which stopped their 25 game win streak.

Back to the Bulls, the loss was their fourth straight to end the year and Strong’s team limped to the finish line at 4 – 8. When you combine this season with losing the remaining six games a year ago, that’s 14 losses in the last 18 games played for Strong’s teams. Friday night was also the fifth loss by 27 points or more for USF this season.

So now, we all wait to see if USF Athletic Director Michael Kelly, who was hired last year, will get rid of the former Texas and Louisville coach or give him one final shot to turn it around in 2020?

Strong is reportedly owed at least $5 million for the remaining two years on his five-year deal that he agreed to in December of 2016.

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