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UCF Knights

UCF had both quarterbacks rolling early Thursday night

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
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The UCF Knights have been known for developing quarterbacks and Thursday showed they are starting the 2019 season on the right foot with the guys they have. The Knights rolled over FAMU like they were predicted to, but did so, with two new quarterbacks succeeding.

Both Brandon Wimbush and Freshman Dillon Gabriel had success early and often against the Rattlers. In fact, Wimbush and Gabriel threw for multiple touchdowns and led several scoring drives before halftime:

Wimbush, a grad transfer from Notre Dame, got it started with a five-play 80-yard drive ending with a 37-yard touchdown. Later in the quarter though Gabriel, a true freshman from Hawaii, led a four-play 38-yard drive for a touchdown of his own from 24 yards out.

Later in the second quarter, Wimbush scored his 2nd touchdown on an eight-play 71-yard drive capped off with a 12-yard touchdown and the rout of FAMU was on.

Two possessions later Gabriel, drawing comparisons already to McKenzie Milton, was again given a chance and again, delivered 6 with a five-play 59-yard drive ending with a 6-yard touchdown. Gabriel continued his success in the second half delivering a five-play 71-yard drive capped by a 26-yard touchdown to give him three on the night.

He would finish 9-13 for 127 yards in the air with the three scores.

It was an all-around successful night for the Knights, whose defense did everything they were supposed to do as well, earning the shutout to start the year.

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.

Yes, it was just against FAMU, but it was still a great start for both Wimbush and Gabriel, and it will be interesting to see, if he the freshman will be given reps again next week against Florida Atlantic.

Jamil King is a young draft pick working his way up the depth chart on the F.F.I. roster, who enjoys watching and writing about all of Florida’s football teams.

UCF Knights

UCF showed why they are top team in latest power rankings

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Another week has come and gone in the 2019 football season. In the state of Florida, it was another rough week for two of the NFL teams with the Fins and Jags both loosing again. While the Bucs were able to land an impressive division road win, UCF continued to roll, the Hurricanes got a victory, and the Gators pulled a out a late one, but lost a key player.

At the same time, FSU had yet another late-game collapse and USF did what they were supposed to do with an easy opponent. With all of that said lets breakdown the top teams in the state this week:

UCF Knights- The Knights just keep on “charging on.” Every time a team enters the “Bounce House,” they proceed to get bounced right on out of Orlando.

Freshman QB Dillon Gabriel is off to a hot start taking home a couple of national accolades last week. The Knights have now scored 30 points for the 29th game in a row, the longest streak since 1936. UCF gets another power five opponent this week on the road against Pittsburgh. If the Knights are able to roll over them with a couple of ranked matchups producing losses this weekend, will they be able to crack the top 10?

Florida Gators- The Gators had to sweat it out, but in the end, we’re able to come away with a win in Lexington. It took a missed field goal and a 76-yard WR sweep to eventually put the game away.

The Big story though, is the injury to 3-year starter, Felipe Franks. Franks will be out for the remainder of the season with a broken ankle, and backups Kyle Trask and Emory Jones will be called upon to run the offense.

With a home game against a 1-2 Tennessee next, then a visit from Towson, the Gators have time to get the offense resituated before a four-game stretch against Auburn, LSU, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Bucs came away with a big division win on Thursday night at Carolina. The Panthers had owned the Bucs with Cam Newton who had a 9-4 record vs. the team before this loss. The Bucs offense did just enough and let the defense do the rest.

The new-look Bucs defense under coordinator Todd Bowles has been one of the bigger surprises in the entire NFL so far. With a date with the Giants and rookie Daniel Jones, the Bucs could potentially feast on the young quarterback in his first career start.

Miami Hurricanes- The Canes finally got a win in 2019. After losing the first two games by a combined 7 points, they beat Bethune-Cookman 63-0.

QB Jarren Williams continues to improve game by game, and the rushing attack had another good performance. The Canes will play host to a former employer of Dan Enos next week, when Central Michigan comes to town. Following that,  the Canes get right back into conference play with home games against Virginia Teach, Virginia, and Georgia Tech.

And….

FAU Owls- The Owls final played a team not ranked, and it resulted in the first win of the season. FAU took down Ball State 41-31 on the road. QB Chris Robinson tossed four touchdowns and had 366 yards passing. Larry McCammon III had 99 yards rushing and had a touchdown of his own.

John Mitchell had a monster game of 8 catches for 124 and three touchdowns. The Owls will get Wagner next before getting into conference play.

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UCF Knights

UCF freshman QB Gabriel already bringing home honors

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

If there was any chance for a two-quarterback system to continue at UCF, that appears to be answered already.
With Brandon Wimbush and Darriel Mack, Jr., both trying to gain playing time, true freshman Dillon Gabriel put a stronghold on the spot.

For the first time, this season the Knights started the same QB as the week before, and it seems like it will be like this for the foreseeable future. Gabriel, who shredded the Stanford defense Saturday, has the accolades coming in and was named Co-Offensive Player of the Week for the AAC,

Gabriel was also was named Walter Camp Foundation Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Knights to a win over the Cardinal by completing 22/30 of his passes for 347 yards and 4 touchdowns.

He was able to hit for TD throws of 28 yards to Marlon Williams, 38 yards to Tre Nixon, 38 yards to Gabriel Davis and 1-yard to Jake Hescook.

UCF scored at least 30 points for their 29th consecutive game – the longest streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision since 1936. They also won their 27th consecutive regular season game on Saturday.

Gabriel continues to follow in fellow Hawaii phenom, Mckenzie Milton’s footsteps. From the same town and school as the UCF quarterback, he is on the path with the awards. Milton, who was the American Player of the Year in 2018, but suffered a horrible career threatening injury in November, is helping Gabriel adjust to college and leading the Knights.

By the way, Gabriel is the fourth UCF player to receive Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors, since 2004, and the first since quarterback Milton.

If Gabriel is going to be the starter going forward, and barring injury, it looks like he will, we can expect more performances like this leading Josh Heupel’s high-powered offense.

He will get another test next week on the road against another Power 5 opponent in Pittsburgh in a game that will also be televised to a lot of the country on ABC.

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