UCF falls, UF rolls, Tallahassee Nearly Revolts: This week in Florida football


Nate Marrero

UCF will look to bounce back next week against UConn.

Nate Marrero, Sports Writer

UCF vs. Pittsburgh

The UCF Knights were handed their first regular season loss since 2016 when a three-yard pass from receiver Aaron Matthews to quarterback Kenny Pickett on 4th and 3 with 59 seconds in the game sealed a 35-34 win for the Pittsburgh Panthers – who can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to dashing the national hopes of powerhouses. 

After the Knights fell behind 21-0 in the second quarter, UCF scored 31 unanswered points and found themselves with a 31-28 lead into the 4th quarter.

With 4:40 to go the game, UCF kicker Dylan Barnas made a 28-yard field goal to extend their lead to 34-28. On the following drive, Pittsburgh drove 79 yards on 13 plays to take a 35-34 lead and win the game. 

UCF true freshman Dillon Gabriel, who shined in a national spotlight against Stanford last week, came back to earth against a stout Pitt defense. He threw two interceptions with the Panther’s defenders constantly in his face. He finished the game with 25 of 42 passes completed for 338 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

Gabe Davis had 10 receptions for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Tre Nixon also had a big day, with seven catches for 135 yards. 

Adrien Killins had eight carries for 46 yards and one touchdown. Otis Anderson had six carries for 37 yards and ran a punt back for an 87-yard touchdown. 

Despite the heartbreaking loss, UCF is still the overwhelming favorite to win the American Athletic Conference. They’ll look to bounce back next week when they take on the UConn Huskies at home.


Florida vs. Tennessee

Kyle Trask’s first start at quarterback went about as well as it could have, as the Florida Gators blew out the Tennessee Volunteers 34-3 in Gainsville. 

Trask completed 20 of 28 passes and threw for 293 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. 

The Gators defense locked down the downtrodden Volunteers and forced three interceptions against the two quarterbacks they played.

Florida will host Towson next week before they take on the undefeated Auburn Tigers in a pivotal SEC matchup. If Trask can continue to play well and their defense plays like they have all season, they definitely have a shot to be Georgia’s runner-up in the SEC East.


Florida State vs Louisville 

Florida State blew a 21 point lead to Louisville, which should surprise nobody. What warrants a double-take was the Seminole’s ability to mount a comeback and beat the Cardinals 35-24.

FSU quarterback Alex Hornibrook, the Wisconsin transfer, threw for two touchdowns and 255 yards in relief of James Blackman. Cam Akers ran for 112 yards and three touchdowns. 

Florida State will take on North Carolina State next week in another big ACC matchup where they’ll hope to turn their season around. FSU’s two losses this season came after they blew late leads, so comeback win for the Seminoles can prove big in terms of helping them gain some momentum as the season progresses. 


Miami vs Central Michigan 

It wasn’t pretty, but the Miami Hurricanes earned their second win of the season and beat the Central Michigan Chippewas 17-12. 

If the Hurricane offense continues to sputter like they have to start this season, they’ll have no chance to lose to Clemson in the ACC Championship game.

Following a bye week, the Hurricanes will host the Virginia Tech Hokies.