Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators Avoid Embarrassment; FCS Foe Furman Befuddles UF Defense, but Florida Still Becomes Bowl-Eligible

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators Avoid Embarrassment; FCS Foe Furman Befuddles UF Defense, but Florida Still Becomes Bowl-Eligible

Article excerpt

Byline: Hays Carlyon

GAINESVILLE | For the majority of Saturday's game against Furman, Florida played as if it wanted the month of December off.

Needing a victory to avoid having to beat rival Florida State next week to attain bowl eligibility, the Gators fell behind 15-0 and 22-7 to the Football Championship Series Paladins.

Florida finally averted a colossal embarrassment, blowing past Furman 54-32 at Florida Field in front of an announced crowd of 84,674.

"As ugly as the victory may be for us, the most pleasing part for me is that no one really panicked," Florida coach Will Muschamp said. "They went out there and kept on playing. We continued to hang in there. Nothing is easy. We certainly don't make it that way."

Furman trailed 37-32 heading into the fourth quarter and stayed within a possession of tying UF until safety De'Ante Saunders returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown to push the lead to 47-32 with 12:52 remaining in the game.

Florida (6-5) returned another pick for a score when linebacker Jelani Jenkins took one back 75 yards with four minutes to play to seal the victory.

"I don't think the score is really indicative of how the game went," said Furman coach Bruce Fowler, whose team lost to Georgia Southern 50-20 on Oct. 15.

"We had those two picks that they ran back there late that stretched the score out a bit."

UF was befuddled early in the contest when Furman lined up in a double-slot option formation, something the Paladins (6-5) had not shown on film, according to Muschamp.

"They've been a pro-style team all season," Muschamp said. "Obviously in the first series we were completely scrambling on defense trying to adjust. That's happened maybe only one other time in my coaching career, but it happened today."

The Gators were able to hold Furman to 10 points in the final three quarters, while the offense got going through the air. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.