A blog coming to you live from the Idaho vs. Florida college football game on Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville:
On the game’s first play from scrimmage, defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson picked off Idaho QB Mason Petrino and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown.
After an Idaho punt, UF moved quickly to increase the lead to 14-0 on QB Feleipe Franks’ 17-yard scoring run. Franks’ 27-yard pass to tight end C’yontai Lewis highlighted the three-play, 47-yard drive that took 42 seconds.
Idaho prevented UF from scoring on its third possession, stopping the Gators at the Vandals 5 after UF had marched from its 46.
The score became UF 21-0 on Franks’ 52-yard touchdown pass to wide-open tight end Kyle Pitts at the 5:30 mark.
Franks connected with receiver Van Jefferson for a 3-yard TD pass to increase the UF margin to 28-0. The score capped a 10-play, 73-yard drive highlighted by Franks passes of 14 yards to Lewis, 21 yards to Jefferson and then 16 yards to Lewis on fourth down to the Idaho 3.
What went right: Everything. And it started with Chauncey Gardner-Johnson’s pick-six on the first offensive play of the game. It was an indication of things to come. It was a Gator onslaught for the rest of the quarter, with UF scoring on three of its next possessions to take a 28-0 lead. While the defense was overwhelming the Idaho offense, Feleipe Franks was having his way in the passing game. He threw for 166 yards in the quarter and pretty much had receivers open all over the field.
What went wrong: Just one thing: Lamical Perine getting stuffed on a fourth-and-one play from the Idaho 5-yard line. It was the only possession in which the Gators failed to score.
Play of the quarter: Gardner-Johnson’s 26-yard interception return for a touchdown on the game’s first offensive play.
Trending: Florida’s passing game.
— Robbie Andreu
Notes: Out today are centers Nick Buchanan and T.J. McCoy, guard Brett Heggie, tight end Moral Stephens and defensive backs Brad Stewart and Dre Massey, per UF. Tyler Jordan was expected to start at center and Noah Banks at left guard. … Offensive lineman Martez Ivey and defensive lineman Cece Jefferson receive the loudest ovations at Senior Day festivities. … Temp at kickoff was 65 degrees.
Josh Hammond took an end-around pitch 21 yards for a score with 10:29 left in the half to give the Gators a 35-0 advantage. It capped a 69-yard drive on six plays and used all of 1:26 off the clock.
Idaho kicker Cade Coffey missed a 42-yard field goal attempt wide left.
Franks hit receiver Tyrie Cleveland with a 34-yard pass in the end zone to make it 42-0 at the 5:22 mark. That drive went 75 yards on four plays and using 1:14.
True freshman quarterback Emory Jones took over with under four minutes left in the quarter and he led the Gators to another score by picking up 15 yards on a run and connecting with Trevon Grimes for 35 yards to the Idaho 8. From there, Jones hit Hammond for an 8-yard score.
What went right: Just about everything. Franks continued to have success throwing the football and the offense rolled up and down the field, scoring enough points to let Dan Mullen feel comfortable about turning the game over to true freshman quarterback Emory Jones late in the quarter. Jones did not disappoint. On his first possession he led the Gators 76 yards for a touchdown and a 49-0 lead. It was Jones’ drive. He ran 15 yards to convert a third-and-eight, he threw a 35-yard laser to Trevon Grimes, then he hooked up with Josh Hammond for an 8-yard TD pass. His only incompletion came on a deep ball to Kyle Pitts that Pitts dropped. On defense, the Gators continued to overwhelm the seemingly much slower Vandals.
What went wrong: The defense gave up back-to-back plays of 26 and 23 yards, but that drive ended with a missed 42-yard field goal attempt.
Play of the quarter: Hammond’s 21-yard TD run on an end-around.
Trending: Emory Jones.
— Robbie Andreu
Idaho 0 0
Florida 28 21
Jones hit freshman running back Dameon Pierce with a 4-yard TD pass for a 56-0 lead with 6:50 left in the quarter. Redshirt senior Jorge Powell kicked the extra point after freshman Evan McPherson had nailed the first seven.
Idaho finally scored with 1:02 left in the quarter on Coffey’s 38-yard field goal to make it 56-3.
What went right: Jones continued to look pretty sharp running the offense surrounded by a bunch of other young guys. On the Gators’ long scoring drive, he had back-to-back completions to receiver Jacob Copeland and tight end Lucas Krull for 16 and 20 yards. Jones finished off the drive with his second TD pass of the day, this one to freshman running back Dameon Pierce from four yards out. All kinds of young players got extensive playing time on both sides of the ball.
What went wrong: A fumble by Jones killed a potential scoring drive early in the quarter, and a 24-yard punt and a personal foul penalty set up the Vandals for a 38-yard field goal late in the quarter.
Play of the quarter: Jones’ 20-yard pass to Krull.
Trending: The numerous UF young players.
— Robbie Andreu
Idaho 0 0 3
Florida 28 21 7
Linebacker Ventrell Miller intercepts a Petrino pass and returns it 82 yards for a touchdown for a 63-3 lead with 6:43 left.
Petrino hit wide receiver Jeff Cotton with a 12-yard scoring pass with 1:47 left in the game to wrap up the scoring. It capped a 10-play, 79-yard drive.
Redshirt sophomore Nick Sproles in at QB for the Gators.
UF improves to 8-3, doubling last year’s win total, while Idaho ends its season at 4-7. The Gators play at FSU next Saturday at noon on ABC.
What went right: One thing, basically: redshirt freshman linebacker Ventrell Miller’s pick-six, which went for 82 yards.
What went wrong: The offense basically did nothing in the quarter. And on a fourth-down play from the UF 32, a bad snap by true freshman center Griffin McDowell led to a three-yard loss. Defensively, the Gators struggled to contain Idaho quarterback Mason Petrino, who is not exactly known for his mobility. Overall, with so many young players on the field, the play was somewhat sloppy. And the Gators gave up the late touchdown.
Play of the quarter: Miller’s long interception return for a touchdown.
— Robbie Andreu
FLA_Gardner-Johnson 26 interception return (McPherson kick), 14:54
FLA_Franks 17 run (McPherson kick), 12:46
FLA_Pitts 52 pass from Franks (McPherson kick), 5:30
FLA_V.Jefferson 3 pass from Franks (McPherson kick), 1:44
FLA_Hammond 21 run (McPherson kick), 10:29
FLA_Cleveland 34 pass from Franks (McPherson kick), 5:22
FLA_Hammond 8 pass from E.Jones (Powell kick), 1:50
FLA_Pierce 4 pass from E.Jones (Powell kick), 6:50
IDA_FG Coffey 38, 1:02
FLA_Miller 82 interception return (Powell kick), 6:43
IDA_Cotton 12 pass from Petrino (Coffey kick), 1:47
|Time of Possession||31:20||28:40|
RUSHING_Idaho, Petrino 12-87, Saunders 14-33, R.Johnson 5-31, A.Carter 2-3. Florida, Pierce 13-77, Perine 6-34, Hammond 1-21, Franks 2-21, E.Jones 7-19, Raymond 2-16, Clement 3-12, Ricks 1-4, Copeland 0-0, (Team) 1-(minus 3).
PASSING_Idaho, Nayar 1-4-0-3, Petrino 12-31-2-70. Florida, Franks 19-27-0-274, E.Jones 12-16-0-125.
RECEIVING_Idaho, Cotton 3-38, Haywood 3-21, Ungerer 3-5, Saunders 3-0, Fernand 1-9. Florida, Toney 6-54, Lewis 3-57, Grimes 3-54, Cleveland 3-51, V.Jefferson 3-35, Hammond 3-30, Pierce 3-5, Gamble 2-19, Pitts 1-52, Krull 1-20, Copeland 1-16, Scarlett 1-3, D.Green 1-3.
MISSED FIELD GOALS_Idaho, Coffey 42.