Dillon Gabriel has his own unique reason to be “super excited” for the 2020 Bacon Raton Bowl, a UCF-BYU game that went official Monday morning.
The Knights sophomore quarterback is no stranger to the Cougars. Gabriel grew up in Hawaii and thus became familiar with the BYU-Hawaii football rivalry. His father, Garrett, has a hand in the lore of that rivalry, and now the son will have the chance to make his own memories against the Cougars when UCF and BYU play at the Boca Raton Bowl on December 22.
“It’s a great opportunity. I have a lot of respect for BYU. They have a great team, ”Dillon Gabriel told reporters at a Zoom conference on Monday. Apparently the Polynesian ties. It’s something I grew up with. Much respect to them. They are a great team. It’s just going to be a great showdown for us as a matchup. Like I said, we’re super excited to play them. It will be a good time when we go there. “
Father exceeds a Heisman winner
Garrett Gabriel is known in part for his days as Hawaii’s quarterback in a different era, when BYU and Hawaii were in the same league, the Western Athletic Conference. In back-to-back years, he disrupted the Cougar teams led by Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer – in 1989 and again in 1990, playing both games on the island of Honolulu. The second shock came the same day that Detmer won his Heisman.
“At home, the rivalry between Hawaii and BYU is huge,” Gabriel said on the UCF Rivals website in September. “We used to set up that BYU game, when they eventually beat Ty Detmer after he won the Heisman. I personally will never become a BYU fan of it. I am on that with my father. “
Garrett Gabriel didn’t just lead Hawaii to victory over BYU. Both setbacks were convincing wins, as the Warriors defeated the Cougars 56-14 in 1989 and followed with a 59-28 victory the following year.
Garrett Gabriel outperformed the high-profile Detmer both times. In 1989, Garrett Gabriel completed 22 of 29 passes for 440 yards and four touchdowns – including TD passes of 83 and 45 yards during the second quarter, when Hawaii quickly overturned a 21-0 lead to a 35-7 lead during the peace. Detmer, meanwhile, completed 24 of 35 passes for 427 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions, and was fired several times for scoring minus-77 rushing yards.
The following year, Garrett Gabriel again defeated Detmer, hours after the BYU quarterback was thrown into a hotel pool by teammates as a way to celebrate his Heisman victory. That night, Garrett Gabriel completed 21 of 39 passes for 359 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, while adding 51 rushing yards and a touchdown to the ground. Detmer completed 22 of 45 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns while adding a rushed score, though he also threw four interceptions. Like the year before, Hawaii sprang up quickly and took a 28-7 lead by a quarter. After BYU rose within 41-28 en route to the last quarter, Hawaii scored the last 18 points of the game.
1990, DG’s father Garrett Gabriel beats # 4 ranked BYU & Heisman QB Ty Detmer.
Within 8 days, Dillon Gabriel will face a ranked BYU team and Zach Wilson in the Boca Bowl.
Like father Like Son
– UCF bar stool (@UCFStool) December 14, 2020
Both times, the Cougars had been ranked on their way to the game against Hawaii – BYU was No. 18 in the Associated Press poll in 1989 prior to the loss to Hawaii, then ranked fourth the following year when the Rainbow Warriors upset the massive pulled.
BYU-UCF has a few hot-handed QBs
This year, 10-1 BYU currently ranks No. 14 in the AP poll, 16th in the coaches and No. 18 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. UCF, at 6-3, was ranked earlier this year, but is currently out of the polls.
Could the offensive fireworks of yesteryear be a precursor to this year’s bowl game between BYU and UCF? The Knights ‘Dillon Gabriel and the Cougars’ Zach Wilson matchup features two of the best passers-by in college games.
Dillon Gabriel threw for 3,353 yards, 30 touchdowns and just four interceptions during the regular season, and his average of 372.5 passing yards per game is the best in the country.
Wilson completed 73% of his passing for 3,267 yards, 30 touchdowns and just three interceptions in the regular season, and he is the country’s third most efficient passer, with a rating of 195.35.
Not surprisingly, both teams score a lot of points. UCF scores an average of 44.3 points per game, slightly better than BYU’s average of 43 ppg.
In just over a week, the Hawaiian son will have the chance to follow in his father’s footsteps against an old rival.
That excitement Dillon Gabriel showed when he discovered that UCF’s opponent was not immediately shared by his father – thanks to time zone differences between Orlando, Florida, where UCF is located, and their hometown of Mililani, Hawaii. BYU was officially announced as UCF’s opponent on Monday just before 10 a.m. EST, while it was not quite 5 a.m. in Hawaii.
“The funny thing is he hasn’t woken up yet,” said Dillon Gabriel. ‘I haven’t spoken to him yet. I’ll call him in a few hours and see what he says. It’s kind of funny because he had the chance to play them and so did I. All the guys in the locker room are super excited. “