Turnovers trip up Gators in tough loss to Miami


Florida Gators running back Mack Brown (33) is tackled by Miami Hurricanes linebacker Denzel Perryman (52) during the first half on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 in Miami, Fla. Miami defeated Florida 21-16.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 10:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 10:16 p.m.

MIAMI GARDENS -- As the Florida Gators walked off the field at Sun Life Stadium, they were mocked by shirtless Miami fans who began chanting, "S-E-C! S-E-C!" with some obscenities thrown in.

This one is going to leave a sour taste in the mouths of Gator fans for a long time. No. 12 Florida lost what may be the last game played against Miami for the foreseeable future, handing over five turnovers in a 21-16 loss.

"I'm disappointed for our football team and for the Gator Nation," Florida coach Will Muschamp said.

The game was played in front of a Hurricanes record crowd for Sun Life Stadium that was boosted by blue-shirted Gator fans to counter the Miami "white-out." The crowd of 76,869 saw Miami (2-0) strike early for a pair of touchdowns before Florida's defense settled down to dominate the game.

But it wasn't enough because of Florida's inability to produce points when it drove inside the red zone.

Quarterback Jeff Driskel threw a pair of interceptions inside the 20-yard line and receiver Trey Burton lost a fumble at the Miami 13-yard line. Running back Matt Jones, playing his first game of the year, fumbled on Florida's first possession and Driskel had a fourth-quarter fumble that set up Miami's final score.

"Jeff would like some throws back, absolutely," Muschamp said. "I'd like some calls back."

This is the first time since 2004 that Florida has not started a season 2-0. It was the first time the two teams had played since 2008.

Driskel had a 9-yard touchdown run for the Gators and threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Solomon Patton, who had a breakout game with six catches for 118 yards.

The Gators have a rare early bye next week before returning to The Swamp to face Tennessee on Sept. 21.

Contact Pat Dooley at 374-5053 or dooleyp@gvillesun.com.

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