Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press
The answer, at least in three of the past four games, would’ve been “over.” UCF’s Gabriel has been putting up numbers suitable for NCAA Football video games. Side note: Bring back this glorious football game, NCAA.
Anyway, he has been awesome. Gabriel is averaging 439 yards passing per game. It’s more yards than any FBS quarterback. Alabama’s Mac Jones, second on this list, is averaging almost 60 fewer yards heading into Week 8. The gap is that wide, and it is staggering.
Speaking of gaps that are wide and staggering, Tulane’s passing defense is a problem. The Green Wave have the No. 65 aerial defense of the 77 teams playing. And although I like Tulane and think it could keep this game reasonably close, Gabriel will still go hog-wild.
Both things could happen. Last week, he threw for 601 yards, ran for 49 more…and his team lost by one to Memphis. He won’t have that kind of game, but it could be another doozy.
I’ll take the over, because, frankly, he’s throwing for 400 yards in his sleep. Prediction: 33-of-47, 421 yards passing, four touchdowns.
I saw the news earlier this week that McKenzie Milton has looked good running the scout team offense and has been medically cleared to play for the first time in nearly two full years following a brutal leg injury. And my first thought was, “Man, that’s awesome, but where is he going to transfer to get playing time?“
That’s how damn good Gabriel has been. Milton finished in the top 10 in the Heisman Trophy vote in both 2017 and 2018, and he has no realistic hope of even temporarily taking this job from Gabriel.
The left-handed sophomore is leading the nation in passing yards, thanks to three games with at least 400 yards and four or more touchdowns. Even though UCF already has two losses, this man deserves Heisman hype. I mean, it’s not his fault UCF’s defense couldn’t stop Memphis, or that its kicker shanked a would-be game-winning 40-yard field goal.
To answer the question, though, I’m definitely taking the over. Remove the game against Navy (which runs the ball more than five times as often as it passes it), and Tulane is allowing 344.5 passing yards per game. The Green Wave just allowed 439 passing yards to SMU, which was playing its first game without star receiver Reggie Roberson Jr. (season-ending knee injury).
The main way I could imagine Gabriel falling short of 400 yards is if the Knights seize a huge early lead and put it in cruise control. But their defense has been so bad that I don’t see that happening.