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State: Marks fall for Knights

Two players dent the record books for UCF in a 42-32 season-closing win.

©Associated Press
December 1, 2002

ORLANDO -- Central Florida didn't win a title in its first year as a member of the Mid-American Conference, but the Golden Knights earned the league's respect.

Ryan Schneider threw four touchdowns to Doug Gabriel and ran for another Saturday as UCF beat Ohio 42-32 for a fourth consecutive win, fifth straight in the conference.

The Knights finished second in the East Division and are bowl eligible, but are unlikely to extend their season.

"This is not a conference that isn't competitive; these people know how to play football," UCF coach Mike Kruczek said. "It's great to be a part of this family."

Schneider was 17-of-28 for 325 yards in his seventh 300-yard game of the year. He also set school single-season records with 31 TD passes and 3,770 yards. Daunte Culpepper threw for 28 touchdowns and 3,690 yards in 1998.

Gabriel had seven catches for 179 yards, including scoring plays of 24, 35, 34 and 50 yards. It was the first time in nine years a UCF player caught four scores in a game. He tied the mark of Bernard Ford (1987) and David Rhodes ('93).

"That's what we're here for, just to take all the records out," Gabriel said.

Alex Haynes rushed for 151 yards, 111 in the fourth quarter including a 9-yard touchdown run.

Ohio quarterback Fred Ray completed 13-of-18 for a season-best 210 yards and a score. Chad Brinker's 57 yards led the Bobcats' triple-option attack, and a 2-yard TD run by Stafford Owens with 14 seconds left provided the final scoring.

Ray also ran for 43 yards, including a 1-yard TD sneak late in the third quarter that brought the Bobcats within 28-26. The 13-play, 81-yard drive was kept alive when a pass interference penalty negated an interception.

But Ohio's 2-point conversion run fell short and Schneider's 1-yard dive made it 35-26 with 1:04 left in the third.

Ohio closed to 21-20 two plays into the second half on Andre Parker's recovery in the end zone of Schneider's fumble. UCF took an eight-point lead three minutes later when Gabriel took a screen 50 yards for a score.

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