Nothing seemed to go right for the Gators from the outset. After receiving the opening kickoff, running back Matt Jones fumbled on the first drive of the game and his first game back from injury. But that was just the beginning.
After a Jeff Driskel touchdown run to cut the lead to 7-6, the Gators inexplicably attempted a two-point conversion, which failed. On the team’s next drive, Driskel threw an awful interception in the red zone. The offense followed that up with another drive that ended in the red zone, this time to a turnover on downs. Then just when it seemed like it couldn’t get any worse, wide receiver Trey Burton fumbled on the Gators’ last drive of the first half (that’s right, all of this happened in just the first half of the game), also in the red zone. However, despite all of that, Florida was only down 14-6 at the half, thanks in large part to another stellar performance from the defense.
The Gators opened the second half with a 33-yard field goal from Austin Hardin to cut the score to 14-9. Momentum looked like it was beginning to swing in the Gators’ favor as the defense took control, forcing Miami into four straight punts at one point in the second half. However, the offense was never able to get anything going.
The final glimpse of hope came with just under ten minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Freshman cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III intercepted a Stephen Morris pass and returned it into Hurricanes’ territory. The offense was driving, but just as it had done all game long, once it got to the red zone, things stalled and Driskel’s second interception of the game ended the drive.
But, the defense came up big yet again and forced Miami to punt. However, for the fifth and final time, the Gators’ offense turned the ball over. This time a Driskel fumble at the team’s four-yard line which Miami turned into a Duke Johnson touchdown run just a few plays later, effectively ending the game for all intents and purposes.
Florida would add a late touchdown, a 21-yard pass from Driskel to Solomon Patton (who was one of the offense’s lone bright spots), but the game was already in the bag by that point.
It appears the Gators bye week next week could not have come at a better time, because it would seem that they still have plenty to work on, especially on the offensive side of the ball.