UCF Falls to Cincinnati 27-24

Nate Marrero, Sports Writer

A poor second half and multiple missed opportunities led to the UCF Knights’ streak of 17 straight conference victories and 31 straight games with more than 30 points scored to end when they fell to the Cincinnati Bearcats 27-24 at Nippert Stadium.

After a 16-10 lead at halftime, the Knights (4-2, 1-1) gave up 17 unanswered points to the Bearcats (4-1, 1-0) until UCF scored with 3:20 left in the game on a 45-yard pass from Dillon Gabriel to Tre Nixon. 

With no timeouts remaining, UCF had a chance to get the ball back with just under a minute left in the game but Cincinnati converted a quarterback sneak on fourth and one to seal the win. 

UCF’s offense was inefficient in the red zone, with six trips and only one touchdown and three field goals to show for it. The Knights also turned the ball over four times compared to just one from Cincinnati.

Dillon Gabriel turned in his worst start of the season, completing 25 of his 46 passes for 297 yards to go with one touchdown and three interceptions. 

Gabriel Davis was one of the lone bright spots of the game and caught 13 passes for 170 yards. Nixon caught six passes for 76 yards and a touchdown and Greg McCrae had 17 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown. 

With the loss, UCF’s chances of making their third straight conference championship game just became a lot slimmer. The Knights will need to win out the rest of their conference games and hope that a strong-looking Cincinnati team stumbles in the latter half of the season. 

After a bye week, UCF will look to bounce back on October 19 when they host the East Carolina Pirates.