Dillon Gabriel leads No. 6 Oklahoma past his former school, UCF
Dillon Gabriel threw for 253 yards and three touchdowns against his former school as No. 6 Oklahoma avoided an upset with a 31-29 come-from-behind victory over UCF on Saturday in Norman, Okla.
The game came down to a failed two-point conversion try with 1:16 left after John Rhys Plumlee hit Javon Baker for a 12-yard touchdown to pull the Knights within two.
UCF tried to pass the ball after a lateral on the conversion, but the Sooners snuffed it out to maintain the lead, then recovered the onside kick to put the game away.
After the Sooners extended their lead to 31-23 on Gavin Sawchuk's 30-yard touchdown run with 3:13 left, the Knights kept it interesting.
UCF drove to the Oklahoma 12, where the Sooners stopped the Knights on three consecutive pass plays before Baker's touchdown.
Baker finished with five catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Plumlee was 16 of 30 for 248 yards and two TDs.
Gabriel played for UCF, then of the American Athletic Conference, from 2019-21 before transferring to Oklahoma in 2022. UCF is now a member of the Big 12.
Oklahoma (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) trailed 23-17 after three quarters, then regained the lead on Drake Stoops' 11-yard touchdown reception with 9:16 left. The Sooners extended their lead to eight on Sawchuk's score.
After the game was dominated by the defenses for much of the first half, the offenses finally awoke just before halftime.
With UCF leading 10-7, Gabriel hit Nic Anderson for a 42-yard touchdown reception to put the Sooners back in front.
The touchdown was Anderson's second of the day and his team-high eighth of the season.
Moments later, Plumlee scrambled to his left and when Sooners cornerback Woodi Washington came up to try to make a play on him, the UCF quarterback floated a pass over Washington to Baker for an 86-yard touchdown with 1:24 remaining.
Gabriel once again engineered a quick drive, thanks in part to a pair of pass interference calls against the Knights (3-4, 0-4), including one in the closing seconds that wiped out what would have been an interception.
Zach Schmit then hit a 25-yard field goal to end the half with the game tied 17-17.
Schmit had earlier missed two field goals.
Anderson finished with five catches for 105 yards and two scores.
--Field Level Media
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