Dillon Gabriel vs. Cincinnati: Oklahoma QB's stats, history vs. Bearcats ahead of Week 4 game

Oklahoma on Saturday will play Cincinnati for the first time since 2010. But Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel is painfully familiar with the Bearcats ahead of their Week 4 matchup.

Gabriel holds an 0-2 career record against Cincinnati. It's a losing streak he looks to break on Saturday as No. 14 Oklahoma (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) heads on the road to take on the Bearcats (2-1, 0-0) at Nippert Stadium.

“Yeah, I know (my record). I’m not gonna say it, but I know it,” Gabriel joked with reporters on Monday. "I know what it is. I obviously knew my record against Tulsa (too). Excited for the game, excited to play them. It’ll be a good one.”

In defense of the fifth-year quarterback, both of his losses against Cincinnati came when he played for Central Florida, whom he led from 2019-21 before transferring to play for the Sooners ahead of the 2022 season. Those Bearcats in 2019 and 2020 finished with a combined 19-4 record (including an appearance in the 2021 Peach Bowl game).

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The Millilani, Hawaii, native is likely in his final season as OU’s signal-caller. Likewise, Saturday's Big 12 opener vs. the former American Athletic Conference foe is likely to be his last. So: Is the Cincinnati game part of a revenge tour for Gabriel?

“Heard a bunch of people say that, but it’s not for me to decide,” Gabriel said of the matchup. “It’s a team game. I’m glad I’m with these guys. So, it’s gonna be a good atmosphere, good vibe. It’s going to be a good game.”

Here’s a look at Gabriel’s history with the Bearcats from his time at UCF:

What is Dillon Gabriel's record vs. Cincinnati?

Gabriel is 0-2 all time as a starter vs. the Bearcats. He led the Knights to consecutive three-point losses vs. Cincinnati in 2019 and 2020. The loss in the former season kept UCF from earning an AAC East Division championship, as they finished second in the standings despite a 10-3 record that season.

Here's a recap of Gabriel's outing vs. the Bearcats in those games:

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Oct. 4, 2019: Cincinnati 27, No. 19 UCF 24

  • Gabriel stats: 25 of 46 passing (54.3 percent) for 297 yards and one touchdown, three interceptions; nine rushes for minus-13 yards

Gabriel as a true freshman had a game to forget vs. the Bearcats. He completed 26 of 49 passes for 297 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions, one of which was a pick-six. He also fumbled once inside the Knights' own red zone, which directly led to a Bearcats touchdown.

To his credit, he led a four-play, 93-yard scoring drive in 50 seconds with just over three minutes left to bring the score to 27-24. But the Bearcats held onto the ball thereafter, refusing to give Gabriel and the UCF offense a chance for a game-tying or go-ahead score.

Gabriel was thrust into action in the AAC opener after Notre Dame transfer Brandon Wimbush went down with an injury. Gabriel threw three touchdowns in relief against Florida A&M that season, and went on to start the final 12 games of the year.

2019 was also Gabriel’s last season with offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, who left the next season to helm Ole Miss’ offense. Lebby is now in his second season as offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, and helped recruit Gabriel to Norman prior to last season.

Nov. 4, 2020: No. 7 Cincinnati 36, UCF 33

  • Gabriel stats: 26 of 49 passing (53.1 percent) for 243 yards and three touchdowns to one interception; 11 rushes for 30 yards

Gabriel flipped his touchdown-to-interception ratio from the 2019 game during the teams' 2020 rematch: He completed 26 of 49 passes for 243 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Again, UCF fell — this time 36-33 — to the Bearcats.

Gabriel led the Knights to two first-quarter touchdown drives to give UCF a 14-3 lead over the top-10 Bearcats. He then threw a touchdown — and a 2-point conversion — late in the third quarter to take a 25-22 lead. Cincinnati scored 14 unanswered to start the fourth quarter. Gabriel threw his third touchdown of the game with 4:27 left, but couldn't get the ball back until a late fumble by the Bearcats left time enough for one last play.

The play call was sniffed out, sealing the Bearcats' victory. Cincinnati finished 9-0 in the regular season before falling to No. 9 Georgia 24-21 in the Peach Bowl.

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Oct. 16, 2021: No. 3 Cincinnati 56, UCF 21

Gabriel was on the sideline but didn’t play in his final game against the Bearcats with UCF, as he missed the team’s final eight games that season with a broken clavicle.

The Knights finished 9-4 that season before Gabriel transferred to Oklahoma.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Dillon Gabriel vs. Cincinnati: Oklahoma QB's history vs. Bearcats