TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – In a game riddled with penalties and turnovers, UCF hit the ground running and stayed on top.
First Half Summary
Rain impacted the first half of the game
The UCF Knights (AAC) arrived ready to dominate over the Thundering Herd of Marshall University (C-USA) despite grey skies and steady rain during the first half of the game. The Knights quickly took advantage of the Herd with Grant intercepting a pass thrown by Marshall’s quarterback Isaiah Green at their 39 and running the ball into the end zone for a UCF touchdown in the first 56 seconds of the game. Extra point by placekicker (PK) Dylan Barnas was good for a score of 7-0, UCF.
UCF’s momentum continued throughout the quarter with Gabriel completing two passes, gaining a first down by McCrae. UCF received a penalty for a false start and lost control of the ball with a sack and incomplete pass. Marshall’s Green threw two incomplete passes and fumbled the ball at the UCF 32-yard line. UCF’s Jean-Baptist recovered and gained possession of the ball at UCF’s 35-yard line and scored a 26-yard touchdown by McCrea with Barnas kicking the extra point. Score: 14-0 (UCF) with 9:12 left in the quarter.
UCF gained another opportunity to pick up a ball fumbled by Marshall (Keaton), which Morris-Brash recovered and completed a 55-yard touchdown run with 7:00 left on the clock and another good kick by Barnas for a total score of 21-0.
The second quarter produced fewer points and a continuation of tension between the teams with a second penalty on UCF for unsportsmanlike conduct. UCF quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. attempted several passes, many of which were incomplete. With the clock at 12:28, Marshall’s Abraham intercepted the ball at Marshall’s 25-yard line and responded with a 75-yard return for the Herd’s first touchdown. Score: 21-7. UCF’s Barnas attempted and scored a field gold from the 36-yard line at the end of the half (clock: 0:00). By halftime, both teams were charged with off-setting penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Halftime Score: 24 – 7 UCF
Second half Summary
Rain ends but the penalties continue:
At the start of the second half, tensions continued and both teams received an offsetting penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. UCF scored a touchdown and extra point with 12:50 left in the third quarter. The current score is 31-7 UCF.
Marshall responded with a second touchdown (31-14 UCF) with 9:33 left. The Knights scored again (38-14 UCF) with 7:10 left in the third. Both teams were again penalized with unsportsmanlike conduct, which was off-set. Marshall’s defensive lineman Darius Hodge was charged with his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and as a result, was ejected from the game.
With 6:51 on the clock, Marshall’s Green completed a 70-yard pass to Johnson to the UCF 0 for a first down and the pass attempt was good for a touchdown (current score 38-22 UCF). UCF responded again with a 75-yard screen pass by Gabriel to Williams for a touchdown with 6:39 left in the quarter (45-22 UCF).
Marshall’s Rohrwasser gained a final field goal from 50-yard line with 1:08 left in the third quarter. At the end of the third, the score was UCF 45 – Marshall 25
The fourth quarter was less dramatic with fewer scores and no additional penalties. The Knights’ Barnas picked up the final points in the game with a 30-yard field goal with 4:59 left in the game.
The final score in the 2019 Gasparilla Bowl: UCF 48 – Marshall 25
Sara-Beth Colon Jeffrey is an Associate Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org