After a shaky first quarter the Gators hunkered down to take the game away from the upset minded South Florida Bulls 38-14 in the Swamp. What looked like a tough game going into the halftime break turned into a second half rout for Florida. The Gators outscored the Bulls 31-7 in the second half as the offense finally got into rhythm after a poor start. QB John Brantley went 18 for 31 for 151yds with 2 TDs and no interception. RB Jeff Demps ran for 138yds and 1 TD, an explosive 62yds run down the sidelines to bust open the second half scoring.
The game started off well for the Bulls as they stopped Florida on a 3 and out near midfield. They then marched 96 yards on 17 plays in nearly 10 minutes to open the score 7-0. The Swamp was silenced. QB B.J. Daniels was effective running the ball. He repeatedly gashed the Gator D on option runs and QB keepers. Unfortunately for the Bulls, Daniels was not able to get it going with his arm all day. He went 5 for 20 for 83 yards and 4 interceptions. The back breaker was an interception by DE Justin Trattou, who took it back to the house for 6 and made the score 28-7 for Florida with little over 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
Florida’s first 3 possessions ended in punts and the fourth in a missed field goal. The Florida offense got a kick start from an interception by S Ahmad Black late in the second quarter. After the interception the Gators scored 4 TDs and 1 FG in the next 5 drives. The young Gator defence, playing without one of its leaders in starting safety Will Hill, knuckled down after the opening drive and only gave up 1 more score after that while forcing 5 turnovers. It looked like the Gators were about to break several times early, but the defence made enough plays to help out the struggling offense. The offense was able to finally show signs of explosiveness with Jeff Demps and Deonte Thompson making plays on the ground and air respectively. WR Carl Moore also chipped for a TD on 5 catches. The offense looked best when Brantley was given time to drop back and pick apart the USF secondary. RBs Emmanuel Moody and Mike Gillislee combined for 84 yds and a touchdown. Chris Rainey left the game in the first half as a result of a concussion. Florida woke up in time to churn out 421yds and 24 first downs of offense.
The game was closer than the 24 point difference in the end. Florida was able to capitalize on USF turnovers and make enough big plays to break the game open in a relative short amount of time. Florida will want to play like in the last 3 quarters rather than the first 5 quarters of this season if it wants to make a serious run in the SEC. Up next is Tennessee to open SEC play.
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Written by The Gator Great