Saturday September 11, 2010No. 8 Florida Tops USF, 38-14
The No. 8 Florida Gators' first meeting with in-state opponent the University of South Florida Bulls resulted in a 38-14 victory for the Gators in front of a crowd of 90,612. The win extended the Gators regular season win streak to 22 games.
The Gators and the Bulls came into Saturday's game tied with four interceptions, the most in the Football Bowl Subdivision on the season, but the Gators defense as if it was deja vu pulled off another stunning four-interception game.Three different Gators combined for the four interceptions which set up 21 of the Gators 38 points. The Gators have now collected an interception in 26 of their last 30 games.
WATCH: Florida vs. USF Highlights (GatorVision)
Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley (Ocala, Fla.), went 18-of-31 in his second career start. Brantley threw for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson (Belle Glade, Fla.) led the Gators receiving corps with 83 yards on six receptions.
The Gators punt returners really lit up the turf with a total of 127 return yards. Junior running back Jeff Demps (Winter Garden Fla.) led the punt returners with a total of 95 yards off two returns.
WATCH: Urban Meyer Postgame Press Conference (GatorVision)
WATCH: John Brantley Postgame Press Conference (GatorVision)
On their first possession of the game the Bulls quarterback B.J. Daniels connected with senior tight end Andrew Ketchel for a two-yard score and the first score of the game. The 96-yard drive took up 9:58 seconds making the score 7-0 Bulls. The drive was one of only two times the Bulls made it into Gator territory in the first half.
In the second quarter, Brantley and freshman quarterback Trey Burton (Orlando Fla.) switched snaps for several plays throwing off the Bulls defense. A 15-yard personal foul moved the ball down the field and set up an 11-yard rush by Demps, and followed by a missed field goal by junior kicker Caleb Sturgis (St. Augustine, Fla.).
With one minute remaining in the first-half senior strong safety Ahmad Black (Lakeland, Fla.) pulled off another interception, redeeming Sturgis' missed field goal, and brought the Gators into the game. Black's interception set up an 11- yard touchdown from Brantley to redshirt sophomore Carl Moore (Orlando, Fla.), the second of his career, which tied the game at 7-7.
The first half came to a close with another interception by Black, his 11th career interception and second of the game.
The Bulls first drive of the third quarter ended in a fumble by sophomore running back Demetrius Murray and a recovery by senior defensive end Duke Lemmens (Westlake Village, Calif.), the first fumble recovery of his career.
The Gators were able to capitalize on the fumble with a 1:27 drive that resulted in a 62-yard touchdown run by Demps, putting the Gators in the lead with a score of 14-7.
After a three-and-out by the Bulls, junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins dodged tackles for a 30-yard punt return to put the Gators on the Bulls 35 yard line. With excellent field position sophomore running back Mike Gillislee (DeLand, Fla.) capped off a short four-play possession by the Gators with a 4-yard touchdown run, his first touchdown of the season.
South Florida's second possession of the half was short-lived after throwing an interception senior defensive end Justin Trattou (Ramsey, N.J.) returned 35 yards for a touchdown, the first of his career pushing the Gators into a three touchdown lead, 28-7.
The Bulls followed the interception with a 69-yard drive and chalked it up with a 3-yard touchdown run by Murray, closing the Gators lead to 14 points, 28-14.
In the beginning of the fourth quarter Sturgis sealed up a 35-yard seven-play drive with a 22-yard field goal that split the uprights in order to lengthen the Gators lead to 31-14.
Once again the Gators defense came up big with an interception by Janoris Jenkins, the Gators fourth interception of the game.
To close out the Gators scoring Brantley connected with redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed (New London, Conn.) for a 2-yard touchdown, the first of his career, 38-14.
The Gators will hit the road for the first time this season take on the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville on Sept. 18, as it opens eight straight games of SEC action. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. and will broadcast nationally on CBS.