EditorsNote: Fixed figure on Tre’mon Morris-Brash’s 45-yard fumble return; other minor fixes throughout
Quarterback Dillon Gabriel passed for two touchdowns and ran for another as UCF ended Marshall’s bowl winning streak at six games with a 48-25 Gasparilla Bowl victory on a damp and dark Monday afternoon in Tampa, Fla.
Gabriel completed 14 of 24 passes for 260 yards, and running back Greg McRae rushed 14 times for 80 yards and a touchdown for the Knights (10-3), who reached double-digit wins for the third consecutive season.
With UCF’s leading receiver Gabriel Davis sitting out the game to prepare for the NFL draft, junior Marlon Williams had a career day with seven receptions for 132 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown on a screen pass.
Quarterback Isaiah Green completed 9 of 23 passes for 173 yards and one touchdown for the Thundering Herd (8-5). He was intercepted twice, leading to 10 points for the Knights.
The rain that pelted the teams stopped after the first half, helping the game turn into an offensive show as the teams combined for 39 points and 394 yards in the third quarter.
It also became chippy, with both teams assessed numerous unsportsmanlike penalties. Marshall lost its sack leader, defensive end Darius Hodge, when he was assessed his second unsportsmanlike penalty late in the third quarter.
The teams got more points out of their defenses (21) than their offenses (10) in the wet first half.
UCF scored on Richie Grant’s 39-yard interception return and defensive end Tre’mon Morris-Brash’s 45-yard return of a fumble he forced by knocking away a lateral pass in Marshall’s backfield.
The Knights got the only offensive touchdown of the first half on McRae’s 26-yard run that capped a 65-yard drive for a 14-0 lead. Dylan Barnas made a 36-yard field goal as time ran out in the second quarter after the Knights drove from their 6-yard line.
The Herd’s only first-half touchdown came on true freshman safety Micah Abraham’s 75-yard interception return.
—Field Level Media