The No. 24 Florida Gators defense finally showed up against the Texas A&M Aggies, but Florida still trails 17-13 after three quarters.
The Florida Gators started the third quarter in a strong fashion as quarterback Jeff Driskel and running backs Mike Gillislee and Solomon Patton rushed up the field against the Texas A&M defense, but the Gator offense sputtered in the red zone. Wide receiver Frankie Hammond dropped a catch in the end zone and the Gators had to settle for a field goal to bring the score to 17-13.
The Gators defense, which had seen a few losses earlier in the first half, finally pulled out a stop and forced the Aggies into their first 3-and-out of the game. Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel and the rest of the offense weren't able to capitalize.
Driskel has received praise for his play, especially considering the abuse he is receiving from the Texas A&M defense. The Gators offensive line isn't doing their quarterback any favors, as a combination of poor marking and Driskel lingering a bit too long has resulted in seven sacks thus far.
Driskel is really showing me something today. Has held the ball too long, but his throws have been strong and on mark. Not rattled. #Gators— Michael DiRocco (@ESPNdirocco) September 8, 2012
The Texas heat apparently also is proving to be surprisingly problematic for the Florida defense, which has seen multiple players go down briefly for cramps.
SEC struggling with Texas heat? 6th Florida player to go down with cramps, as if it's never hot in Gainesville.— Jon Solomon (@jonsol) September 8, 2012
Barring the cramping issue, the Gators defense finally stepped up the gridiron after getting run all over in the first half. The Gators forced the Aggies offense into two quick 3-and-outs in both of their drives this quarter, holding Texas A&M to a total of seven yards. The Aggies will open the fourth quarter on their own 19-yard line.