UCF’s Dillon Gabriel Named Manning Award Quarterback of the Week
NEW ORLEANS – Dillon Gabriel, a sophomore from the University of Central Florida, has been selected as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week. He earns the honor over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Facebook contest.
Gabriel, a Mililani, Hawaii, native, completed 27-of-41 passes for 417 yards and four touchdowns, tallying career-highs in passing yards and touchdowns as he led the Knights to their fifth straight season-opening victory, a 49-21 road win over Georgia Tech.
The performance was Gabriel’s fifth career 300-yard passing game, tied for the fourth most in program history, as well as his first-career 400-yard passing game. He also threw a touchdown pass for the 14th straight game, tied for the fourth-longest streak in UCF history. It is the longest streak for a Knight to start his career.
The 2018 Gatorade Hawaii Player of the Year hauled in quite a few honors for this performance as he was also named the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback of the Week, the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week, and the Walter Camp National Player of the Week.
The Knights are scheduled to open AAC play on Saturday at 11 a.m. CST against East Carolina on ABC.
Gabriel won this week’s award over Miami’s D’Eriq King and Tyler Vitt of Texas State. King completed 18-of-30 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns, including a 75-yard third-quarter touchdown hook-up that broke open a tight game, as the Hurricanes topped No. 18 Louisville, 47-34, in ACC action. Vitt completed 14-of-21 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 82 yards and a touchdown as he led the Bobcats to a 38-17 Sun Belt victory over UL Monroe on the road.
While the Manning Award selected 30 quarterbacks for its preseason Watch List, additional quarterbacks are expected to be added to the Watch List later in the season. Ten finalists will be selected and the winner is scheduled to be announced following the College Football Playoff National Championship.
In its first 16 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 12 different schools and from four different conferences. The Big 12 Conference (Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Vince Young, Colt McCoy and Robert Griffin III) and the Southeastern Conference (Joe Burrow, Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, JaMarcus Russell and Tim Tebow) lead the way with five Manning Award honorees each, while and the Atlantic Coast Conference (Deshaun Watson twice, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston) has had four Manning Award winners. LSU (Burrow and Russell) joins Oklahoma (Murray and Mayfield) and Texas (McCoy and Young) as the only schools with two different winners.
All the Manning Award winners follow in the footsteps of the Mannings themselves. In college, Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning combined for over 25,000 passing yards and 201 touchdowns while playing in 10 bowl games and earning four bowl MVP awards. Archie was the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, while both Peyton and Eli were selected No. 1 overall.
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