The Florida Gator football team (10-1, 7-1 SEC) won its final home game of the season on Saturday, defeating the Jacksonville State Gamecocks (6-5, 5-3 OVC) 23-0.
It was Senior Day in the Swamp, so it was only fitting that all of the Gator points were scored by seniors. Florida running back Mike Gillislee scored on a seven yard touchdown run in the first quarter, linebacker Jonathan Bostic returned an interception seven yards for a touchdown, and kicker Caleb Sturgis made three field goals, two of which were over 40 yards. Gator head coach Will Muschamp says he could not be more proud of what his senior class has accomplished.
While Florida did win, the Gator offense struggled a bit only scoring one touchdown against a Jacksonville State defense that is ranked 89th or lower in all four major defensive statistical categories in the Football Championship Subdivision. Florida quarterback Jacoby Brissett started the game as starting quarterback Jeff Driskel was out after suffering a high ankle sprain against Louisiana last week. Brissett was 14 of 22 passing for 154 yards. While Muschamp says he chose to play conservatively and that he was pleased with Brissett’s performace, he also says his offense has to improve if it wants to beat Florida State next week.
The Gator defense on the other hand did not struggle. It recorded its second shutout of the season and at one point in the second half forced the Gamecocks into five consecutive three-and-outs. Florida senior defensive lineman Omar Hunter says the defense takes pride in playing well on third down.
One other note from the game; Mike Gillislee ran for 122 yards, and is now just 36 yards away from reaching 1,000 rushing yards for the season.
The Gators now get ready to play the Florida State Seminoles next Saturday in Tallahassee. Florida has lost its last two matchups against FSU scoring a combined 14 points in the two games. And with BCS number one Kansas State and number two Oregon losing Saturday, this game becomes even bigger.