ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Isaiah Bowser rushed 172 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown with a little over four minutes remaining, and UCF 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, Dillon 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.
ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 02:UCF Knights defensive back Zach Rodriguez (43) leads the team on the field during the football game between the UCF Knights and Boise State Broncos on September 2, 2021 at Bright House Networks Stadium in Orlando, FL. (Phot
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 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.
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.
Boise State hosts UTEP on Sept. 10.
UCF hosts Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 11.