Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

College Smackdown; A Win Is a Win, but Gator Luck May Be Running Out

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

College Smackdown; A Win Is a Win, but Gator Luck May Be Running Out

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Corbett

All season I have remained in the Gator Nation camp that has appreciated the wins despite the fact that the margins of victory have been less than impressive. For the record, I remain in that camp. A win is a win, especially when you do not need style points to overtake anyone.

However, it did look like our luck might have finally run out at one point in the second half of the game last week against South Carolina. In other words, our inability to put a team away early looked like it might come back to haunt us this time. With us clinging to only a 3-point lead, the Gamecocks were driving deep into our territory for at least a field goal attempt to tie the game or possibly a touchdown to take a lead.

As we have done so many times though, we saved the day with a defensive play. This time it was defensive lineman Justin Trattou who intercepted a batted pass and rumbled 53 yards to end the drive and provide us with a short field. We were then able to stretch the lead from three to 10 and put the game away. We've won a lot of games this season by similar margins, but we never seemed to really be in danger. This week it was different.

I guess the Old Ball Coach had a little more for us than our past opponents, but in the end we were able to extend our winning streak to 20, run our 2009 record to 10-0, and remain on track for a showdown with Alabama to win the SEC. In other words, all of our pre-season goals are still in front of us and attainable.

I was also happy to see the teams of Smackdown columnists Trey Dennard and W.D. Rodeffer get back on track this weekend. W.D.'s Seminoles blew away Wake Forest to end an unsettling three-loss streak to the one-time cellar dweller in the ACC. Trey's Bulldogs beat long-time rival Auburn between the hedges.

Trey's team's victory over Auburn reminded me of a brief conversation I had at the Jacksonville Landing many, many years ago after a Gator victory over the Dawgs. …

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