UCF’s Gabriel wins third Manning Award QB of the Week honor
NEW ORLEANS (December 3, 2020) – UCF’s Dillon Gabriel has been selected as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week to become this year’s first three-time winner – he was also recognized once in 2019. Gabriel earns the honor over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Facebook contest.
Gabriel notched his seventh 300-yard game of the season and his third five-TD performance as he led the Knights to a 58-46 AAC road win over archrival USF. He completed 22-of-36 passes for 336 yards and four touchdowns through the air while also rushing for a score.
A sophomore from Mililani, Hawaii, Gabriel is ranked first nationally in passing yards per game (372.6), first in total offense yards per game (387.9), first in passing yards (3,353), and second in passing TDs (30). Compared to a year ago, Gabriel in 2020 is averaging 7.07 more completions per game and 55.9 more passing yards per game.
Gabriel and the Knights finished the season 6-3 overall and 5-3 in American Athletic Conference play as one of only a handful of teams across the country to have completed all its scheduled games.
The second and third-place finishers in this week’s Facebook voting were Zac Thomas of Appalachian State and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. Thomas completed 22-of-29 passes for 279 yards and four touchdowns in a 47-10 Sun Belt win over Troy; it was his fourth career four-TD game and he moved into second place in active QB wins in the FBS. Lawrence, playing his first game in five weeks, completed 26-of-37 passes for 403 yards and two touchdowns, going over 400 yards for the second time this year, as he led the Tigers to a 52-17 ACC victory over Pittsburgh.
While the Manning Award selected 30 quarterbacks for its preseason Watch List, inclusion on the Watch List is not necessary for the quarterbacks to be selected for the honor. Finalists are scheduled to be announced in mid-December and the winner will 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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