FINAL: FLORIDA 32, NORTH TEXAS 0
Gainesville, FL- The Florida Gators set a program record on defense en route to a victory over North Texas. The Gators defense allowed the Mean Green to only gain 53 yards of total offense, the fewest in school history. The Gators also stopped North Texas on the ground, giving up (-)13 yards.
The Gators defense set the tone early and often, as on the second defensive play the Gators forced a safety, netting Florida a 2-0 lead, and finishing with seven sacks and ten tackles for loss.
Perhaps the biggest story coming out of this game is the early exit of starting QB Luke Del Rio. Late in the third quarter Del Rio was hit low with a late hit and was favoring his left knee. Del Rio was helped off the field, but was able to walk to the locker room on his own strength. During the ensuing commercial break Florida head coach Jim McElwain had to be restrained about fifteen yards into the playing field while screaming at the North Texas bench. The North Texas coaching staff also entered the playing field before cooler heads prevailed.
McElwain said after the game that “we’ll probably be without (Del Rio) for a while, but we’ll put someone else in there and play well.”
McElwain also addressed his behavior during the timeout as saying, “I was just trying to protect one of my guys.”
Del Rio finished the game 14-25 for 186 yards and one interception.
The Gators started the scoring on their first defensive possession when North Texas quarterback Mason Fine was sacked in the endzone for a safety. Kicker Eddy Pineiro tacked on a 22 yard field goal, after the Florida offense failed to score a touchdown in the redzone. Jordan Cronkrite added a six yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, and freshman running back Lamical Perine scored from two yards out giving the Gators a 19-0 halftime lead.
The third quarter produced no scoring, but saw plenty of fireworks toward the end of the quarter after Del Rio went down. Florida OL Martez Ivey was penalized with a personal foul and ejected after allegedly attempting to punch a North Texas defender. The SEC announced during the fourth quarter that Ivey will not be suspended the first half of next week’s game despite the ejection. McElwain told reporters after the game “let’s face it, that penalty was probably mine. I get how it is.”
Gators backup quarterback Austin Appleby played the remainder of the game and led Florida to two scoring drives. Appleby finished the game 2-4 for 30 yards. The first score of the fourth quarter was a 20 yard touchdown run by Mark Thompson which was capped as he hurdled a defender to get in the endzone. Jordan Scarlett finished the scoring with his 1-yard plunge with 7:15 to go in regulation.
- 1st Quarter (2-0 UF) Team safety
- 1st Quarter (5-0 UF) Pineiro 22 yard FG
- 2nd Quarter (12-0 UF) Cronkrite 6 yard run
- 2nd Quarter (19-0 UF) Perine 2 yard run
- 4th Quarter (25-0 UF) Thompson 25 yard run
- 4th Quarter (32-0 UF) Scarlett 1 yard run
|Fine 6-22, 66 yards, INT||Del Rio 14-25, 186 yards, INT|
|Wilson 10 carries, 26 yards||Thompson 11 carries, 85 yards, TD|
|Ivery 6 carries, 11 yards||Scarlett 11 carries, 62 yards, TD|
|Thompson 3 receptions, 50 yards||Hammond 2 receptions, 72 yards|
|Ivery 2 receptions, 12 yards||Goolsby 3 receptions, 40 yards|
|Buyers 1 reception, 4 yards||Perine 1 reception, 29 yards|
|TIME OF POSSESSION||23:47||36:13|
FLORIDA GATORS AT TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS
SEPTEMBER 24, 2016 at 3:30 PM