England were all out for 136 to trail Australia by 159 on the first innings late on the second day of the first Ashes Test on Friday.
The tourists lost their last eight wickets for 81 with fast bowler Mitchell Johnson taking four for 61.
It was the worst collapse by England in an Ashes Test since they lost 47 for nine in their second innings total of 150 in the 1990 Melbourne Test
Stuart Broad was the last man out and capped a fine all-round performance with 32 off 45 balls after taking six for 81 in Australia's first innings.
Australia, who have not lost at the Gabba since falling to the West Indies in 1988, are bidding to avoid losing four Ashes series in a row for the first time in 123 years.