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No. 6 Florida Gators vs. Ole Miss Rebels: Live updates from Oxford, Miss.

Robbie Andreu
Gator Sports
Mississippi defensive back A.J. Finley (21) breaks up a pass intended for Florida wide receiver Trevon Grimes (8) during the first half Saturday in Oxford, Miss.

Live results from No. 6 Florida's college football season opener today at Ole Miss at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss.

Sun staff writer Robbie Andreu's last-minute takes:

•Will the Gators be able to establish a running game against an Ole Miss defense that has struggled against run the last several years.

•UF offensive coordinator Brian Johnson said earlier this week the Gators will turn All-SEC preseason QB Kyle Trask loose today.

FIRST QUARTER

Florida     14  

Ole Miss     7 

Florida defensive back Shawn Davis was ejected on the first drive of the game for targeting.

The Gators' defense stops the Rebels' first drive at the UF 23.

Trask then takes the Gators 77 yards on 13 plays that he capped with a 1-yard TD pass to tight end Kyle Pitts for a 7-0 lead after Evan McPherson's kick at 5:50.

The Rebels answered with a 46-yard TD pass from quarterback Matt Corral to receiver Dontario Drummond at the 3:43 mark. It capped an 7-play, 75-yard drive. Luke Logan converted the point after.

After an exchange of interceptions, Trask completed a 22-yard scoring pass to receiver Trevon Grimes with 50 seconds left in the quarter.

Note: Linebacker Jeremiah Moon, defensive tackle Kyree Campbell, defensive backs Brad Stewart and Quincy Lenton, defensive end Dante Lang and transfer receiver Jordan Pouncey are among those out for the season opener, Zach Abolverdi of Gators Territory reported.

___

What went right: On the game’s opening drive, the UF defense came up big, sacking Matt Corral on a fourth-and-three play to kill an Ole Miss scoring opportunity. Zachary Carter came up with the stop. Kyle Trask and the offense then quickly and efficiently went to work, driving 77 yards for a TD, the score coming on a 1-yard pass from Trask to tight end Kyle Pitts. Later in the quarter, after Ole Miss had tied the game 7-7, the defense came up huge again, with Brenton Cox tipping a pass that was intercepted by true freshman tackle Gervon Dexter. Just like the first stop, the offense quickly went down the field for a touchdown, the score coming on a 22-yard pass from Trask to Trevon Grimes.

 What went wrong: On the first possession of the game, the Gators lost safety Shawn Davis to a targeting foul, forcing UF to go to a true freshman (Rashad Torrence) at the position. For the rest of the quarter, the secondary was shredded by Corral and the Ole Miss passing game. The Rebels tied the game with a 46-yard TD pass that came on a double pass. Dontarious Drummond was wide open behind the secondary.

 Play of the quarter: A 44-yard run by Kadarius Toney that set up the Gators' second touchdown.

 Trending: Both offenses were going up and down the field with not a whole lot of resistance.

— Robbie Andreu

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SECOND QUARTER

Florida      14   14

Ole Miss      7    7

Corral completed another TD pass to Drummond, this time from 14 yards to knot the game at 14-all at the 12:05 mark. The Rebs took 11 plays to drive 75 yards in 3:46 for the score.

Then, with 3:10 left, Trask completed a 16-yard TD pass to Kadarius Toney, and McPherson added the kick, as UF goes up 21-14. The score completed a 9-play, 78-yard drive in 4:19.

Trask completed his fourth TD pass of the half, a 16-yarder to Pitts to put the Gators up 28-14 with five seconds remaining in the half.

__

What went right: Trask and the passing game. With time to throw and multiple receivers getting separation in the Ole Miss secondary, Trask had the offense flying up and down the field the entire quarter. He threw a 16-yard TD strike in the back of the end zone to Toney with 3:10 remaining to give the Gators a 21-14 lead. Then, after a stop by the defense on a third-and-one stuff by middle linebacker Ventrell Miller, Trask executed the two-minute almost to perfection, culminating it with a 16-yard TD pass to Pitts to put UF up by two touchdowns at the half. In what may have been the best quarter of his UF career, Trask threw for 177 yards and two TDs.

 What went wrong: The defense, and the secondary in particular, continued to struggle early in the quarter, with the Gators giving up a bunch of chunk plays and first downs during a TD drive by the Rebels that tied the game 14-14. 

 Play of the quarter: A 22-yard diving catch by Pitts that led to his TD catch two plays later with only five seconds remaining.

 Trending: Trask-to-Pitts.

— Robbie Andreu

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THIRD QUARTER

Florida      14   14  13  

Ole Miss      7    7    7    

The Gators didn't waste any time after receiving the second-half kickoff. Trask teamed up with Pitts for a 71-yard TD seconds into the quarter. McPherson's boot made it UF 35-14.

Jerrion Ealy scored from 18 yards to cut the Gators' lead at the 13:43 mark. The score was set up by Corral's pass to Elijah Moore for 57 yards to the UF 18. 

Evan McPherson gives UF a 38-21 lead with a 55-yard field goal.at the 9:30 mark. The eight-play, 38-yard drive was hampered by a holding call on the Gators. It's a career long for McPherson.

Ole Miss's kicker Luke Logan missed on his 42-yard field goal try at the 7:21 mark. The miss spoiled a nice drive that featured Corral's 51-yard pass to Moore to the UF.

 McPherson put the Gators up 41-21 with a 37-yard field goal at the 5:06 mark.

Trask passed 25 yards to Nay'Quan Wright to the Miss 20 on the last play of the quarter,

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What went right: The Gators started the second half the way they ended the first, with Trask throwing a touchdown strike to Pitts. This one went for 71 yards and included a powerful stiff arm from Pitts that set him free after he made the catch deep down the middle. Trask was sharp for most of the quarter, and when the offense did stall, place-kicker Evan McPherson came through, true on two field-goal attempts, the first coming from 55 yards. The defense managed a stop that led to a missed FG attempt by the Rebels.

 What went wrong: The problems in the secondary continued, with the Gators giving up big play after big play, and allowed Ole Miss to answer the quick UF TD to open the quarter in just two plays.

 Play of the quarter: The Trask-to-Pitts bomb to open the second half.

 Trending: Evan McPherson.

— Robbie Andreu

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FOURTH QUARTER

McPherson connected again, this from 23 yards out to put the Gators up 44-21. It capped an 11-pay, 66-yard drive

Corral later completed an 8-yard TD pass to Kenny Yeboah, and his 2-point conversion pass to Jonathan Mingo brings the Rebs to within 44-29 with 11 minutes left.

Another Trask-Pitts TD pass, from 17 yardsout, put UF up 51-29 with 5:14 left. The score capped a 10-plays, 75-yard drive.

Snoop Conner ran in from a yard out for a score, but conversion try failed, as the Rebels made it a respectable final score.

___

What went right: McPherson hit another field goal and Trask found Pitts for yet another touchdown pass — the fourth to two produced in the game — and the offense stayed on the field long enough to keep the Rebels’ potent offense on the bench for much of the quarter.

 What went wrong: The defense gave up another long TD drive in just two plays and could do nothing to negatively affect the play of quarterback Matt Corral, who had a career day.

 Play of the quarter: The Trask-to-Pitts touchdown that sealed the victory.

— Robbie Andreu

No. 6 Florida 51, Mississippi 35

Florida         14 14 13 10  —51

Mississippi    7    7   7  14—35

First Quarter

FLA_K.Pitts 1 pass from Trask (McPherson kick), 5:48.

MIS_Drummond 46 pass from Corral (Logan kick), 3:43.

FLA_Grimes 22 pass from Trask (McPherson kick), :50.

Second Quarter

MIS_Drummond 14 pass from Corral (Logan kick), 12:04.

FLA_Toney 16 pass from Trask (McPherson kick), 3:10.

FLA_K.Pitts 16 pass from Trask (McPherson kick), :05.

Third Quarter

FLA_K.Pitts 71 pass from Trask (McPherson kick), 14:19.

MIS_Ealy 18 run (Logan kick), 13:43.

FLA_FG McPherson 55, 9:30.

FLA_FG McPherson 37, 5:06.

Fourth Quarter

FLA_FG McPherson 23, 12:54.

MIS_Yeboah 8 pass from Corral (Mingo pass from Corral), 11:00.

FLA_K.Pitts 17 pass from Trask (McPherson kick), 5:14.

MIS_Conner 1 run (run failed), :58.

                     FLA         MIS

First downs     32          29

Rushes-yards 29-196    45-170

Passing          446             443

Comp-Att-Int    31-45-1    24-33-1

Return Yards      40        38

Punts-Avg.        1-47.0      3-49.0

Fumbles-Lost       2-0     0-0

Penalties-Yards     4-40     4-45

Time of Possession  33:29   26:31

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING_Florida, Toney 2-55, Pierce 9-54, M.Davis 7-49, E.Jones 4-37, Trask 3-2, Wright 4-(minus 1). Mississippi, Ealy 16-79, Corral 13-50, Conner 8-26, Knight 4-11, Plumlee 4-4.

PASSING_Florida, E.Jones 1-3-1-30, Trask 30-42-0-416. Mississippi, Drummond 1-1-0-45, Plumlee 1-1-0-3, Corral 22-31-1-395.

RECEIVING_Florida, K.Pitts 8-170, Toney 5-59, Grimes 3-64, Copeland 3-39, M.Davis 3-33, Whittemore 3-26, Shorter 2-8, Wright 1-25, Zipperer 1-11, Henderson 1-9, Pierce 1-2. Mississippi, E.Moore 10-227, Yeboah 5-91, Ealy 3-44, Drummond 2-60, Kelly 1-9, Plumlee 1-6, Conner 1-5, Knight 1-1.

MISSED FIELD GOALS_Mississippi, Logan 42.