The Florida Gators (6-5) were on upset alert as late as the fourth quarter, but the UF defense returned two interceptions for touchdowns as the Furman Paladins (6-5) tried unsuccessfully to complete a comeback shocker.
The Gators fell down early in the first quarter, allowing the Paladins to jump to a 22-7 lead, but then regained major ground in the second quarter as they shut out the Paladins offense and scored 20 points. In the third quarter, with the Gators leading 27-22, both teams managed to add 10 points on a pair of field goals and a pair of big plays.
With the game at 37-32, the Gators opened the fourth quarter with a 55 yard field goal from Caleb Strugis, who had already missed two easier field goals (51 and 40 yard attempts) on the day.
Trailing 40-32, Furman quarterback Chris Forcier fired a pass directly into the arms of defensive back De'Ante Saunders, who bolted to the end zone for a pick-six and a 47-32 Gators lead. On the ensuing Furman drive, Forcier rifled yet another pass at a waiting Gators defenseman, as Jelani Jenkins snatched the ball and sprinted UF to a consummate 54-32 lead.
Florida Gators head coach Will Mischamp was displeased with how close the game had been, saying to reporters after the game, "We made it interesting and it shouldn't have been."
The Gators will finish the regular season schedule next week as they face state-rival the Florida State Seminoles.
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