Photo Credit: Getty Images
By Dory LeBlanc
The Miami Hurricanes defeated No. 9/12 Florida Saturday afternoon fueled by five Gators turnovers.
In total, Florida racked up 413 yards to Miami's 212 and had 22 first downs to the Canes' 10 and held their hosts to 1-for-11 third down conversion ratio, but the Gators struggled in the redzone, giving up three of their five give-aways inside the 20.
Florida QB Jeff Driskel threw for a career-best 291 yards and rushed for the Gators' first TD, but had two costly fourth quarter turnovers - an interception and a sack forced fumble.
Last week against Toldeo, RB Mack Brown, starting in place of Matt Jones (who was recovering from a viral infection), ran for 112 yards on 25 attempts; against Miami, Jones was back - but the tandem was held to an average of 2.8 yards per carry and combined for less than 100 yards on 28 attempts.
The Florida defense showed flashes of brilliance especially up front, aided by DT Dominique Easley and ends Ronald Powell and Dante Fowler. As a unit, the Gators defense held the Hurricanes to 69 yards after the first quarter and allowing only 66 yards on the ground through four quarters.
The problem was that the offense just couldn't get anything going - until it was too late.
Driskel hit Solomon Patton for a 21-yard touchdown with 2:08 to play in Miami Gardens to bring the Gators back to a five-point deficit, but a failed onside kick attempt resulted in the 'Canes getting the ball midfield.
Miami went three-and-out on the drive, then sacked Driskel for a loss of eight, sending Florida back to the 12. The game ended on a false start penalty on Florida - their 10th of the game.
The victory marked, quite possibly, the biggest win in Al Golden's tenure at Miami; before Saturday, the Hurricanes had won only two out of 14 games against teams ranked 12 or higher.
Next up for the Gators: Florida will have a week's rest before hosting SEC East rival Tennessee on September 21st in Gainesville. Kickoff time: TBA