PAT DOOLEY GRADES THE GATORS – FSU
First half: Florida had two chances early to put the foot on the neck of the opponent, but couldn’t take advantage of a short punt and a rare UF interception. Florida had the total yardage advantage, as usual, but again struggled with turnovers that were killers.
Second half: It wasn’t always pretty, but Florida scored enough points in the second half to win the game. Maybe this is what they have been saving Dameon Pierce for all season as he had 48 rushing yards on what turned out to be the game-winning drive.
For the game: The three interceptions thrown by Emory Jones in the first half led to a quarterback change and in the nick of time. Anthony Richardson wasn’t spectacular, but he avoided mistakes and Florida finished with 357 yards.
First half: Florida defenders saw three different quarterbacks and the one who looked like he was out for the game gave the Gators the most trouble. But when you hold a team to seven points, you should have a nice halftime lead.
Second half: The defense kept it up, but then allowed the drive that made it a game again and the final drive that made it a three-point game. Jordan Travis was a problem, but in the end, the defense walked off the field with a victory and a bowl berth.
For the game: Travis finished with 202 passing yards and 102 rushing yards despite leaving the game twice with his arm hanging by his side. Still, the defense produced four sacks and three turnovers in the game.
Special teams A- (yay!)
First half: Does Florida get credit for a shanked FSU punt? Naw. But Jeremy Crawshaw was very good. The return game on the punts, not so good, which is what we have seen all season.
Second half: The biggest play of the game was the muffed punt that Xzavier Henderson jumped on it to set up a score that made it 17-7. Crawshaw was great again in the second half.
For the game: For once, Florida won the special teams battles. Now, a big part is that FSU screwed up right until the final kick, but give these Gators credit for finally having a positive impact in a game.
As bad as it was, a pillow fight between two teams going nowhere, think about what it meant. Florida is going to a bowl, FSU is not. Florida has won three straight against FSU. The seniors were sent out with a win. Don’t look behind the curtain at those 13 penalties and three interceptions. Florida won. We will allow you to celebrate, guys.