Sunday September 7, 2008Gators Knock Off Hurricanes, 26-3
of a Ben Hill Griffin Stadium record crowd of 90,833 fans and a national
television audience watching on ESPN, the fifth-ranked Gators (2-0) handed
quarterback Tim Tebow (
tight end Aaron Hernandez (
winning the coin toss and electing to defer until the second half, the Gators
held Miami to a three-and-out situation on the first possession of the game, forcing
a 14-yard Hurricane punt that gave Florida possession on UM’s 35-yard line. The
Gators punched the ball into the end zone on a five-play drive that only took
1:44, putting six points on the board when Tebow connected with Hernandez on a
14-yard lob. Gator senior Jonathan
The Hurricanes later countered early in the second quarter on its third possession, following an eight-yard rush for a fourth-down conversion by UM redshirt freshman quarterback Robert Marve. The visitors elected to kick a 50-yard field goal after facing fourth-and-17 from their own 32-yard line and sophomore Matt Bosher connected on attempt to reduce UM’s deficit to 7-3. The 42-yard drive spanned 8:42.
The Gators capitalized on a fourth-and-24 Miami situation with 47 seconds left in the first half when freshman Jeff Demps (Lakeland, Fla.) blocked a Bosher punt, good for a safety, giving UF a 9-3 lead at the half. Demps’ blocked punt was the 38th under Meyer, tallying the third-most blocked punts in the nation since 2001.
Late in a
scoreless third quarter, junior receiver Carl
Gators’ defensive stance on the next Hurricane possession led to a
Two possessions later, the Gators rallied with consecutive quarterback sacks, one each by junior defensive end Jermaine Cunningham (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and sophomore defensive end Carlos Dunlap (North Charleston, S.C.), pinning Miami at the Florida eight-yard line and forcing a 39-yard Bosh punt.
running back/wide receiver Brandon James’
The Gators will enjoy a bye week before returning to action in Knoxville on Sept. 20 against the Tennessee Volunteers to open Southeastern Conference play.