Tampa Bay Sports Day

UCF: Pittsburgh Stuns No. 15 Knights with Last-Minute TD

Photo by Pitt Athletics

ORLANDO – The UCF football team had to endure something it hadn’t in a long time last weekend, losing a regular season game.

The Knights fell at Pittsburgh, 35-34, snapping their 25-game regular season win streak, which led the nation and dated back to late in the 2016 season. UCF had won 28 of 29 games overall prior to the loss to the Panthers.

“Give credit to Pitt. They played a good game and found a way to be plus-one on the scoreboard,” UCF head coach Josh Heupel said. “I’m proud of the way our kids competed and played.”

Ranked 15th in the nation, the UCF football team (3-1) had yet to trail in a game in 2019. That changed early at Heinz Field as the Panthers (2-2) scored first, scored second, and scored third taking a 21-0 early in the second quarter.

“We did some things that you can’t do on the road if you want to be a good football team,” Heupel said. “This one’s going to hurt for a while, but we’ll get back on Monday and get back after it.”
With time running out, Pittsburgh went 79 yards down the field and finished off the drive with a trick play that ended with Panther quarterback Kenny Pickett catching a three yard pass.

The extra point gave Pitt the 35-34 advantage and the Panthers held on for the win.

QB Dillon Gabriel passed for 338 yards and two touchdowns but also threw his first two interceptions of the season. Gabriel Davis caught 10 passe for 151 yards and two TDs. UCF finished with 423 yards, 180 under its season average.

UCF opens up American Athletic Conference play against UConn for the second straight year, having defeated the Huskies 56-17 in the first game of the 2018 season.

The Knights begin their journey for a third straight American Championship after winning back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018. UCF has won six conference championships since first joining a conference in 2002 and four conference titles since 2013, one of just four programs in FBS to achieve the feat (Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma).