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Saturday September 8, 2007Football Overpowers Troy, 59-31

Gainesville, FL

The fourth-ranked Gator football team (2-0) scored on its first seven possessions on its way to a 59-31 victory over Troy (0-2) in front of a crowd of 90,244 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday. The win extended the Orange and Blue’s home winning streak to 17 games, now tied for the fourth-longest in school history, and raised Urban Meyer’s mark in The Swamp to 15-0.

 

Sophomore Tim Tebow (Jacksonville, Fla.) was 18 for 25 for 236 yards and three touchdowns and led the team in rushing with 17 carries for 98 yards and two touchdowns.   Junior tight end Cornelius Ingram (Hawthorne, Fla.) finished the game with career highs in receptions (seven) and receiving yards (105).

 

For the second-straight game, the Gators scored on each of its possessions in the first half. 

 

After forcing Troy to a three and out on their first possession, linebacker Roderick Blackett (Pompano Beach, Fla.) blocked the squad’s first punt of the season, giving the Orange and Blue possession of the ball at the Trojans’ 6 yard line.  After an 11-yard pass to Louis Murphy (St. Petersburg, Fla.), the Gators took a 7-0 lead 4:46 into the game on a one-yard touchdown rush from running back Moore.

 

The Trojans answered on the next possession, when quarterback Omar Haugabook evened the score 7-7 with a 31-yard touchdown run 7:45 into the first quarter.  Troy’s scoring drive covered 74 yards in nine plays.

 

The Gators countered after a 59-yard kickoff return by Brandon James (St. Augustine, Fla.) that placed UF at Troy’s 37-yard line. Tebow put the hosts ahead to stay with a 3-yard touchdown run, his third-straight game with a rushing score. Senior Joey Ijjas (Clearwater, Fla.) added the extra point to give the Gators a 14-7 lead with 4:52 remaining in the first quarter. 

 

Florida scored on again on a four-yard pass to wide receiver Percy Harvin (Virginia Beach, Va.) to build a 21-7 advantage. Tebow used a number of the Gators’ offensive threats on the scoring drive, which lasted 1:15. He found junior tight end Cornelius Ingram for a 19-yard gain and Murphy, for a 17-yard gain.

 

It took only three plays and 38 seconds for the Gators to tack on another score for a 28-7 margin.  The drive began when freshman defensive back Carlos Dunlap (North Charleston, S.C.) blocked UF’s second punt of the game.  The last time the Gators blocked two punts in one game was on Nov. 4, 2006 at Vanderbilt. Tebow found a wide-open Ingram for a 37-yard gain. After a nine-yard carry by Moore, he found the end zone for the second time on the following play from one-yard out. 

 

The Gators defensive remained aggressive going into the second quarter. Senior defensive tackle Clint McMillan (Oviedo, Fla.) caused a Troy fumble recovered by linebacker Dustin Doe (Jasper, Fla.) to give the Gators possession with 12:05 remaining in the second quarter.  The Gators capitalized on the turnover with an 18-yard touchdown by wide receiver Andre Caldwell (Tampa, Fla.).  An Ijjas’ point-after kick extended the Gators’ lead to 35-7.

 

Ingram snagged his first touchdown of the season off a 5-yard pass from Tebow with 2:57 left in the half. Earlier in the drive, Ingram had back-to-back receptions of 14 and 13 yards.  The 4:37 scoring drive put the Orange and Blue up 42-7. With just over a minute left in the half, freshman defensive end Justin Trattou (Ramsey, N.J.) intercepted a Haugabook pass, giving the Gators possession at the Gators 47-yard line. The Gators quickly capitalized with consecutive by Harvin (24 yards), Ingram (13 yards), Harvin (14 yards) and a three-yard TD reception by sophomore wide receiver Jarred Fayson (Tampa, Fla.) for a 49-7 halftime cushion.   

 

The Trojans outscored the Gators 17-0 in the third quarter.  Troy’s first points of the quarter came when kicker Greg Whibbs converted on a 21-yard field goal.  Their second score came off a Quarterback Haugabook scored a one-yard rush with 9:49 remaining in the quarter to bring the score to 49-14.  After Whibbs missed a 45-yard field goal on the third possession, wide receiver Austin Silvoy scored on a 10-yard reception to narrow the Gators lead to 49-24 with 2:49 remaining in the third. 

 

The first score of the fourth quarter came with 10:05 remaining in the game.  After the Gator offense drove the ball 52 yards in nine plays, Ijjas converted from 32 yards on his first field goal attempt of the season bringing the score to 52-24.

 

The Trojans responded with a 26-yard touchdown reception from Silvoy to narrow the Gator’s margin, 52-31.  The touchdown, with 7:00 remaining in the game, was Silvoy’s second of the night.

 

With 2:50 remaining, Tebow cemented the Gators victory with a 16-yard touchdown run finalizing an 80-yard, eight-play scoring drive, to move the Gators ahead 59-31. 

 

The Gators will begin Southeastern Conference play next week when Tennessee arrives in The Swamp.  The game will air live on CBS Sports at 3:30 p.m.

 

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