Mike Ehrmann

College Football Saturday: Florida, FSU roll on to victories.

The Florida Gators welcomed Steve Spurrier back to The Swamp with a blowout win while the Seminoles battled back from a slow start to take down Miami.

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Special teams sparks Gators win

Florida convincingly beat South Carolina by a 44-11 margin on Saturday to improve to 7-0 on the season, thanks in large part to the play of their special teams unit.

The Gators' special teams unit forced two fumbles, which led to two touchdowns, had a significant return on an onside kick that directly resulted in another touchdown, and blocked a South Carolina field goal.

Andy Hutchins of Alligator Army was impressed by Florida's special teams play:

Kyle Christy is the best punter I have ever seen suit up for Florida. I realize this is sacrilege, given that I saw Chas Henry play, but Christy averaged 54.3 yards per punt on seven punts on Saturday, topping his career high for average by more than five yards per punt and besting his career high for long punt with a 62-yard boot.

The offensive unit needed help from special teams to secure the victory as it only managed 183 yards of total offense. Quarterback Jeff Driskel was 11-of-16 for 93 yards passing with four touchdowns, while Mike Gillislee rushed 19 times for 37 yards. Florida, as a team, only managed 89 yards rushing on 48 attempts.

Florida will prepare for No. 11 Georgia this week and host the Bulldogs this coming Saturday.


FSU blogger reacts to win against Miami

Florida State fell behind early against Miami on Saturday, but the Seminoles overcame a lot to pull away with the 33-20 win. Miami jumped out to an early 10-0 lead against FSU, before the 'noles took control of the game. FSU fumbled the ball on the next drive, but forced a fumble on the other end to regain possession.

There was an FSU field goal, and later a 10-play, 90-yard touchdown drive that saw FSU lose senior running back Chris Thompson to a knee injury. The 5'8'', 187-pound back has 91 carries for 687 yards this season. But Thompson is more than a leader on the field for FSU. Losing him in the first half could have had a negative effect on the team, but the Seminoles did not appear to be phased.

SB Nation's Bud Elliot had this to say about Thompson's injury on the network's Florida State blog, Tomahawk Nation:

Not only was Thompson Florida State's best offensive player, he was their emotional leader. X-rays were rumored to be negative on Thompson's knee, but it would be surprising to see Thompson back any time soon.

Florida State was also heavily penalized in this one, as it has been in other games recently. Elliot noted that FSU was called for nine penalties in the first half alone, compared to just one for Miami.


FSU rolls past Miami, 33-20

It wasn't a pretty game, but the Florida State Seminoles will walk away from their matchup against the Miami Hurricanes with a 33-20 win. It was neck and neck for most of the game, but 17 points by the Seminoles in the fourth quarter gave them a little bit of a cushion.

Probably the biggest story from this game is the loss of Florida State running back Chris Thompson. He hurt his left knee in the second quarter and did not return. There's no long term prognosis yet, but he was seen on the sidelines on crutches in the second half.

Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr. ran capably in place of Thompson, and were the primary forces behind FSU's 233 rushing yards for the game. The offense put up 463 total yards, and E.J. Manuel completed almost 68 percent of his passes.

The FSU defense held Miami to 253 yards of total offense. Stephen Morris ended up going 25-43 for 221 yards, a touchdown, and an interception, and Mike James and Duke Johnson were both held below 30 yards rushing.

Box Score Hero: There weren't a lot of standout individual performances in this game, but the closest was probably Devonta Freeman. He rushed for 69 yards on just ten carries, and scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Rankings Ramifications: Florida State may rise a spot or two from 12th, but not due to the strength of their performance.

But did they cover? Florida State was a 21 point favorite, so they did not cover.

What's next?

Florida State: 10/27, vs. Duke

Miami: 11/1, vs. Virginia Tech

This story originally appeared on SBNation.com.


UCF races out to 35-17 win over Memphis

UCF remained undefeated in C-USA.


FSU leads Miami 16-13 after three quarters

The Florida State Seminoles are still clinging to the lead at the end of the third quarter, 16-13 over the Miami Hurricanes. Dustin Hopkins hit a 35 yard field goal for Florida State, and Jake Wieclaw hit a 27 yarder for Miami with 20 seconds left in the quarter. Florida State has the ball to begin the fourth quarter.

Florida State's offense has moved the ball well in the second half, and has over 300 total yards on the game. However, they've struggled to turn those yards into points. James Wilder Jr. and Devonta Freeman have run the ball well in Chris Thompson's absence, and E.J. Manuel is being efficient with the passing game. However, two lost fumbles have derailed FSU's offense and kept Miami in it.

Miami, on the other hand, has had tremendous difficulty moving the ball. They were gifted great field position at the beginning of the game and turned that into points, but have not been so lucky since then. Stephen Morris is 13-26 for 121 yards and an interception, and Duke Johnson and Mike James have been bottled up by the Florida State defense. They'll need a big play in the last 15 minutes to come out of this game with a win.


Florida A&M drops a game in OT to S. Carolina St.

The Rattlers' fourth quarter comeback fell short as they lost in overtime.


Jacksonville University loses to San Diego 24-7

The Jacksonville University has seen better days than a 24-7 loss that saw them lose their quarterback, snap a home game winning streak and lose their first Patriot Conference game.


Noles lead Canes 13-10 at halftime

The Florida St. Seminoles lead the Miami Hurricanes 13-10 at halftime. The Seminoles recovered from a sloppy start and a 10-0 deficit to take the lead, but have yet to impress against a team they were favored to beat by three touchdowns. Mike James and James Wilder Jr. have the two touchdowns, Jake Wieclaw has a field goal for Miami, and Dustin Hopkins has two field goals for FSU.

The Seminoles offense is without their biggest home run threat in running back Chris Thompson. Thompson hurt his left knee in the second quarter, and will not return to the game. Wilder is running well in Thompson's absence, but FSU is hoping that Thompson's absence won't hurt them in the second half.

Florida State's offense started slow, but has picked up more momentum as the game has gone on. E.J. Manuel has over 100 yards passing and is completing over 60% of his passes. Miami, on the other hand, appears to be heading the other way. Stephen Morris is only completing 50% of his passes, and the Canes have just over 100 yards of total offense after 30 minutes.


Fan rushes field in FSU-Miami game, fears nothing

A fan rushed the field in the Florida State-Miami game, and he fears no man, by the looks of it.


Miami leads FSU 10-3 after one quarter

The Florida State Seminoles entered their game against the Miami Hurricanes as big favorites. However, their old rivals don't seem to be in the mood to roll over. Two turnovers by the Seminoles have helped stake the Hurricanes to a 10-3 lead after one quarter.

A Nick O'Leary fumble 1:30 into the game gave Miami the ball at Florida State's 22-yard line. Four plays later, Mike James ran it around the left edge from 9 yards out to give Miami a quick and unexpected 7-0 lead. The Canes were able to force a three and out on the next drive, and got the ball back with good field position. Miami heavily featured James and got the ball inside the FSU five, but had to settle for a 19-yard field goal by Jake Wieclaw to make it a 10-0 lead. Florida State answered with a 33-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins with just over a minute left in the quarter to make the game 10-3.

Also, this happened:


E.J. Manuel has struggled early, and is only 3-8 for 30 yards and a fumble. Chris Thompson has 42 yards on six rushes, and one catch for 15 yards. Miami's offense hasn't been very productive either, yardage-wise, but has benefited from great field position. Stephen Morris is 4-9 for 42 yards, and James has 17 yards rushing and 32 yards receiving.


Gators cruise 44-11 over South Carolina

The Florida Gators proved why the computers put them at No. 2 in the BCS rankings Saturday afternoon, annihilating No. 7 South Carolina with relative ease, 44-11.

The Gators set the tone early as CB Loucheiz Purifoy laid out South Carolina's QB Connor Shaw to force a fumble on the first snap of the game. Overall, Florida managed to put 21 points on the board in the first half despite only 29 yards of offense thanks to three Gamecocks fumbles.

Clearly frustrated after only two field goals in the first half, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier elected to bench hist starter Shaw (9-of-20, 72 yards) coming out of the locker room. But backup Dylan Thompson didn't fair much better with just 83 yards, an interception and zero scores on 8-of-20 passing.

With the game results all but official, Gators head coach Mike Muschamp pulled his starters early in the fourth but still managed to put up 23 points in the second half. Overall, the Gamecocks out-gained Florida 191 to 183 in the total yards department but their four turnovers allowed the Gators to take advantage of some short fields.

Box Score Hero: With the Gators averaging only 1.9 yards per carry, QB Jeff Driskel couldn't waste any of the opportunities his defense was handing him. And the sophomore signal caller didn't, throwing for less than 100 yards passing but still tossing four touchdowns on 16 attempts.

Rankings Ramifications: South Carolina was sitting at No. 7 in the initial BCS rankings but they'll likely be far out of the top-10 after this one. As for Florida, an impressive win like this will definitely prevent Oregon from leapfrogging them into the No. 2 slot.

But Did They Cover? As 3.5-point favorites, Florida more than did their job.

Next Week's Schedule: South Carolina will be looking to get off their two-game SEC losing skid as they head back home to face Tennessee. As for the Gators, they'll remain at home but be faced with the challenge of a talented Georgia team.

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Shaw benched as Florida's lead grows to 37-8

South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw was benched in favor of Dylan Thompson coming out of the locker room at halftime, but the results haven't been much different as Florida's lead has grown to 37-8.

The Gators marched down the field after getting a 39-yard return from Andre Debose on the opening kickoff of the second half. Florida capped off their 10-play, 59-yard drive with a six-yard Omarius Hines rushing touchdown but the extra point was blocked. South Carolina's Victor Hampton was able scoop up the loose ball and sprint to the other endzone to give the Gamecock's their only two points of the quarter.

With Thompson leading the Gamecocks to three-and-outs on their only drives, Florida's offense was able to extend their lead with a Caleb Sturgis 42-yard field goal. When they got the ball back, quarterback Jeff Driskel tossed his fourth touchdown of the day, finding WR Frankie Hammond for a six-yard score.

South Carolina had the ball as the third quarter ended with Thompson looking like he might actually move the chains for the first time sitting at third-and-1.


Gators score three TDs off turnovers, lead SC 21-6

Florida has put up only 29 yards of offense yet still has 21 points on the board thanks to three Gamecocks turnovers as the Gators lead South Carolina 21-6 at halftime.

The Gators bit first with DB Loucheiz Purifoy annihilating Gamecocks' QB Connor Shaw on the first snap of the game to force a fumble. After Lerentee McCray recovered, Florida found the end zone in just three plays with QB Jeff Driskel darting one to TE Jordan Reed for a 3-yard score.

South Carolina's offense regained some composure on the next drive though, moving 64 yards in 14 plays to set up a 35-yard Adam Yates field goal.

Following some back-and-forth punts, the tides began to turn heavily in Florida's favor as the Gators blocked a 45-yard Yates field goal to leave South Carolina empty-handed after a solid drive. The Gamecocks defense held strong to a force a 3-and-out shortly after but Ace Sanders couldn't wrangle in the punt, leading a Trey Burton fumble recovery at South Carolina's 29.

With a short field, Driskel was able to locate WR Quinton Dunbar for a 13-yard score to extend Florida's lead to 11. And lady luck would continue to reside in Florida's corner on the ensuing kickoff as Solomon Patton forced a fumble off returner Damiere Byrd to set the Gators up nicely yet again.

Driskel wouldn't waste it, either, finding Reed again this time for a 1-yard touchdown to give the Gators their third score off a turnover.

Florida had another chance at a takeaway on South Carolina's final drive with LB Jelani Jenkins coming down with an incredible interception despite having a cast on his right hand. But the play would be overturned due to a defensive offsides call giving Yates the opportunity to drain a 51-yarder to make it 21-6 at the half.

Florida will be receiving the ball coming out of the locker room as they look to deliver the Gamecocks the deathblow.


The Creation Of Jeff Driskel

Ever wonder what it would look like if Jeff Driskel and Tim Tebow were painted by Michelangelo? No? Oh ... well, here it is anyway (via reddit):


Though, it apparently wasn't long for this world:

This is, of course, the work of one very creative/disturbed Florida Gators fans parked behind the pretty mug of Kirk Herbstreit on Saturday morning's College Gameday on ESPN.

Driskell is Adam, which would make Tebow the creator I guess ... know what? I don't have to explain it. You all learned about Michelangelo in fourth grade. Hopefully, none of you ever replaced the art with your favorite athletes naked. Let's move on to something more tasteful.

Wondering if there are Gamecock puns? There are Gamecock puns. Brought to you as always by the fine folks of Twitter:

Stay classy, Gainesville.

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