UCF matches school record with 21-point comeback win over Boise State in Gus Malzahn's debut

Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. – Isaiah Bowser rushed for 170 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown with a little over four minutes remaining, and Central Florida rallied to beat Boise State 36-31 on Thursday night in a game that began almost three hours late because of lightning-caused delays.

Boise State stormed out to a 21-0 lead before UCF cut the margin to 24-14 by halftime and scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to take its first lead.

UCF backup safety Dyllon Lester had the game-sealing interception with 2:07 left.

After throwing a pick-6 in the first quarter, Gabriel led scoring drives to end and begin the half. He threw for four 318 yards and four touchdowns, while being picked off twice by Tyric LeBeauf. Jaylon Robinson made six catches for 140 yards and a score.

UCF Knights wide receiver Titus Mokiao-Atimalala is lifted into the air by teammates after scoring a touchdown against Boise State.

UCF accumulated 181 yards in the third quarter while new head coach Gus Malzahn’s defense held Boise State to negative yardage and seven quarterback hurries. The Knights finished with 573 yards offense to 302 for the Broncos.

Bachmeier ran the Broncos’ offense proficiently in the first half, throwing for 172 yards and a touchdown. He finished with 263 yards passing, two scores and an interception.

The 21-point comeback tied for the largest in UCF history and was the biggest comeback Malzahn has led as a head coach, according to ESPN. 

NEW COACHES

The game marked the debut of new head coaches for UCF, former Auburn coach Malzahn, and Boise State, Andy Avalos.

GABRIEL GOES DOWN

With 4:16 remaining in the fourth, Gabriel scrambled left for the pylon and was hit out of bounds, causing him to be down for several moments. He did re-enter the game.

BIG PICTURE

Boise State: Last season, the Broncos ranked No.2 in the FBS on third-down conversion defense and in the first half against the Knights they held UCF to 1 of 6.

UCF: Against the Broncos, the Knights committed five penalties for 35 yards in the first half alone. Last season, UCF surrendered the second-most penalties in college football.

UP NEXT

Boise State hosts UTEP on Sept. 10.

UCF hosts Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 11.