|FOOTBALL Regular Season|
|Aug 31||vs Toledo||
|Sept 7||Miami (FL)||L 16-21|
|Sept 21||vs Tennessee||
|Sept 28||AT Kentucky||
|Oct 5||vs Arkansas||
|Oct 12||AT LSU||
|Oct 19||AT Missouri||
|Nov 2||AT Georgia||L 20-23|
|Nov 9||vs Vanderbilt||
|Nov 16||AT South Carolina||L 14-19|
|Nov 23||vs Georgia Southern||
|Nov 30||vs Florida State||L 7-37|
By Dory LeBlanc
Down just 3-0 after the first quarter in Saturday's annual rivalry game, it looked as if the 4-7 Gators could upset the No. 2 team in the country. Then Jameis Winston began to do what has made him the front-runner in this year's Heisman Trophy race and led the Seminoles to an undefeated 12-0 season by beating Florida 37-7.
Florida's biggest and only opportunity to take the lead came in that opening quarter as Louchiez Puriofy intercepted Winston and Trey Burton took the ball 50 yards downfield from the Wildcat formation. The Gators kicking woes continued, however, and Austin Hardin missed his eighth field goal of the season (4-for-12) after attempting a 49 yarder.
Florida State, on the other hand, nailed their 49-yard attempt Roberto Aguayo moved to 16-of-17 in his freshman campaign.
Both of the Seminoles' touchdowns in the first half came on a Winston-to-Kelvin Benjamin connection; first on a 45-yard pass which the sophomore receiver made Brian Poole, Jabari Gorman, and Jaylen Watkins each miss their tackles as he fought his way into the endzone to take a 10-0 Noles lead with 4:24 until the half. On the second, the redshirt freshman nailed a wide-open Benjamin with a 29-yard pass, picking up Winston's 33rd passing TD of the season, tying Chris Weinke's record.
Up 17-0 to start the third, Florida State got the ball first, but were forced to go three-and-out. On the ensuing Gators drive, Sklyer Mornhinweg was sacked from behind and fumbled to give FSU the ball with great field position. Aguayo hit a 40-yarder to extend the Seminoles' lead to 20-0 with 11:02 to play in the quarter.
Five minutes later, the rout was on as Winston-Benjamin hooked up again on a 56-yard pass play, making it easy for Devonta Freeman to run it in from 11 yards out to make it a 27-0 romp.
Even when the Florida offense sustained a drive late in the third, converting a fourth down in Seminoles' territory, a false start penalty backed the Gators up five yards, making the game a continuous uphill battle for the orange and blue.
The Gators did manage to avoid the shutout as Mornhinweg found FB hunter Joyer for a five-yard TD pass to get them on the board, but Florida State answered on their next possession, when Winston completed a 4-yard pass to Benjamin to put the game away at 34-7.
Aguayo tacked on three more points with just over three minutes to play to give the Seminoles the eventual final score 37-7.
Winston finished the game 19-of-31 for 327 yards, three touchdowns and a pick, while Benjamin recorded his best performace to date with nine receptions for 212 yards and three scores.
For the Gators, Mornhinweg set a career-high in completions (20-of-25) and threw for 115 yards with one TD and no interceptions, but will turn the starting QB job back over to Jeff Driskel next season - as long as Driskel can play.
Next up:The Gators will miss their first bowl game in 23 years and look to regroup from their only losing season since 1979.
The Seminoles will prepare for the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, NC on Saturday, December 7th.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Dorian Finney-Smith made a free throw with 1.3 seconds left, lifting No. 15 Florida to a 67-66 victory over rival Florida State on Friday night.
Finney-Smith struggled all night from the field, missing 10 of 12 shots, but came up big in the clutch.
He grabbed an offensive rebound on a missed jumper by Scottie Wilkebin and got fouled on the putback. He missed the first free throw, but gathered himself and sank the second one for the Gators (6-1).
Florida State (5-2) had a shot to win it, but Ian Miller's desperation heave from half court bounced off the back of the rim, just missing by inches.
Casey Prather led Florida with 19 points, and Michael Frazier II added 17. Finney-Smith finished with six points and 10 rebounds.
The Gators extended their home-winning streak to 20 and won their fifth straight in the series.
By Dory LeBlanc
After starting the season 4-1, the Florida Gators lost five in a row, including last week's near upset of South Carolina.
Florida had to win their final two games of the campaign to extend their Bowl streak to 23 and avoid their first losing season since 1979.
The Gators will not get a bowl invite this year, after falling to Gerogia Southern 26-20 Saturday in Gainesville.
On the opening drive, RB Kelvin Taylor (son of Gator great Fred) picked up 54 of Florida's 63 yards on the scoring drive that netted the Gators three points for the early lead.
The defense forced Georgia Southern, who UF has faced only twice - coming away with a win in both meetings, to punt, but the snap was fumbled and Solomon Patton stopped the punter, forcing another fumble. Florida took over at GSU's 34, but the drive stalled and Frankie Velez's field goal attempt was blocked.
Nursing a 3-0 lead, the Gators forced a fumble, recovering the ball inside GSU's 20. Five plays later, Skyler Mornhiweg threw his first career touchdown on a three-yard pass to Patton, who leads the team with five TD receptions this season.
Florida had more bad news on the injury front. Starting LB Michael Taylor, who was one of the most productive defenseman for the Gators Saturday, was lost in the second quarter with a knee injury.
On the next Eagles drive, GSU was able to pull within three after a 45-yard touchdown run by Keith Ellison with 2:01 left to go in the first half.
Georgia Southern scored again on the opening possession of the second half, after gaining 66 yards on the first play of the drive, and converting a fourth-and-inches at the goalline to go up 14-10 with 2:36 off the clock in the third quarter.
The Gators had no answer to stop the Eagles' triple option, and with M. Taylor in street clothes in the second half, Georgia Southern continued to run the ball all over Florida Field, without completing a single pass.
William Banks extended the Eagles' lead to 20-10 on a four-yard run as the third quarter was closing, but Frankie Velez added three more for Florida to make it a one-score game, 20-13, in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Mornhinweg looked downright awful throughout the game, with only 27 passing yards until tossing a 45-yard touchdown pass to Patton, the second time in two games the freshman attempted a pass beyond 20 yards.
With the game tied at 20, Georgia Southern eclipsed 400 yards rushing on the day on William Banks' 14-yard TD run, but for the second time in the contest, the Eagles missed the PAT and led by only a touchdown.
The Gators got the ball with a little over two minutes remaining in the ballgame, but a personal foul penalty negated promising field position, sending Florida back to the 36 from the 49.
Mornhinweg and Co. just couldn't get anything together on offense, and coupled with bizarre clock management, the Gators fell to Georgia Southern, the first FCS school to beat the Florida Gators in the program's history.
Next up: The Gators host the No. 2 Florida State Seminoles next Saturday, November 30th at Ben Hill Griffn Stadium in Gainesville.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Patric Young scored 16 points, one of six Florida players in double figures, and the No. 16 Gators beat Middle Tennessee 79-59 Thursday night.
The Gators won their 19th consecutive game at home, this one thanks to a dominant start to the second half.
Florida (4-1) came out of the locker room and outscored the Blue Raiders 18-6 over the first 5½ minutes. DeVon Walker got the run started with a 3-pointer, and then the Gators went inside.
Young had a dunk, and Jacob Kurtz and Dorian Finney-Smith followed with three-point plays. Leading scorer Casey Prather, who played just 4 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, made two free throws and also added a three-point play. In between, he found Michael Frazier II on the break for a layup.
Florida used the spurt to turn a single-digit lead into a 20-point game, and coach Billy Donovan's team coasted from there.
Dorian Finney-Smith scored 17 points in his Gator debut, in just 16 minutes of action, as No. 11 Florida defeated Arkansas-Little Rock 86-56 on Saturday afternoon.
Finney-Smith had been suspended and then was cleared to play but also had been battling a virus that saw him drop 10 pounds.
"He hadn't picked up a ball since Monday," said head coach Billy Donovan. "He really moved the basketball and made the extra pass. Because he can shoot it, put it on the floor and pass, he opens up a lot of things for our guys."
Casey Prather played a large role with 27 points. The Gators turned on the press in the second half to pull away.
The Gators are now 2-1 on the season. Saturday's game aired on WDAE.