Florida 20, Florida Atlantic 14, Instant Analysis: Gators survive scare from FAU in OT

A horrid start to the game by Florida’s offense led to a 0-0 deadlock at halftime. Then the Gators forced and recovered a fumble, scored a touchdown off it, and then scored another touchdown on a bomb from Treon Harris to Antonio Callaway. So, slow start, but here we go, and everything’s going to be OK, right?

Well, no, because FAU then made quite a game of it and stopped the hearts of Gator Nation by forcing overtime. Yes, really. But like they seem to do every week, the Gators pulled it out in the end despite making a wide array of mistakes.

Here’s how it happened.

It was over when… Facing a fourth down and goal in overtime, FAU quarterback Jaquez Johnson lofted a last-gasp pass intended for Jenson Stoshak. But Gator defensive back Brian Poole reached a hand in front of the path of the ball and broke it up to preserve the victory.

Play of the game… In an ugly scoreless tie midway through the third quarter, Antonio Morrison delivered a crushing blow to FAU QB Jason Driskel, causing him to fumble. Taven Bryan picked it up and returned it 47 yards to the shadow of the FAU goal line to set up Florida’s first touchdown. Without that play by Morrison, and the big return by Bryan, FAU likely wins in regulation.

Game ball goes to… Jake McGee. The senior tight end caught a throwback pass from Harris, shook off two defenders and took it into the end zone on Florida’s possession in overtime.

Stat of the game… 10-1. Florida’s current record. It’s by far the prettiest stat you’ll see today.

What to be proud of… Florida’s defense delivered some huge plays, including Jalen Tabor simply taking the ball away from a defender, the aforementioned hit by Morrison on Driskel (boy, that feels weird to type) that forced a fumble and Poole’s game-ending breakup in the end zone. Without those plays, there’s no way Florida is even in this game, let alone wins it.

What to work on… I’m done beating around the bush with this. Treon Harris sucks. I apologize for sugarcoating this over the past few weeks and insinuating otherwise; he erased all doubts about it today. But we’re stuck with him, so we’ve got to work with him. He seems to be most comfortable when operating from the pocket, but he couldn’t even do that well today save for one play- a 53 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Callaway. Without that play, Harris was a paltry 6-17 for 69 yards on the day. He also threw an interception in the end zone and held the ball way too long on numerous occasions, one of which led to a strip sack and an FAU recovery in the end zone. It’s time for Jim McElwain and Doug Nussmeier to take him back to QB school, and fast, before FSU gets to town.

Bottom line: Florida is 10-1, but we can forget about a College Football Playoff appearance if the Gators play like this again. It’s big boy time now, as our next two games are against FSU and (probably) Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. Then again, it’s always better to have won a game than lost it. Just ask South Carolina.

Scoring recap:

1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Final
FLA ATL 0 0 7 7 0 14
FLORIDA 0 0 14 0 6 20

Scoring plays:

Team Time Play FAU FLA
FLORIDA 3rd 9:44 K. Taylor 1 yd run (PAT GOOD) 0 7
FLORIDA 3rd 5:34 A. Callaway 53 yd pass from T. Harris (PAT GOOD) 0 14
FLA ATL 3rd 2:06 K. Woods 10 yd pass from J. Johnson (PAT GOOD) 7 14
FLA ATL 4th 8:03 O. Rose fumble recovery in end zone (PAT GOOD) 14 14
FLORIDA OT J. McGee 3 yd pass from T. Harris (PAT blocked) 14 20

2 thoughts on “Florida 20, Florida Atlantic 14, Instant Analysis: Gators survive scare from FAU in OT

  1. Your admission to sugarcoating is refreshing. I could tell you’ve been less than forthcoming with your opinions on treon. U strongly predicted WG would win the starting role for game 1 and rightfully so. Then CJM said treon would start, and I could sense your confusion and was confused with you. They continued to split time, which was also perplexing. Then WG gets suspended and u had no choice but to prop up TH, but on completely false premises. I agree – he is terrible, and we are in bad trouble the rest of the way. Proud of you for finally admitting it on your blog, and I’m sure you feel better now for not having to sugarcoat anymore. Let’s hope our D can hold up and we get some ‘special’ points, because our offense can’t score. This is nothing personal against TH. He’s ours and he’s the best we got. Go Gators!!

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