Gators get a 3-D finish in the gradebook following loss to Central Florida

David Whitley
The Gainesville Sun

Offense: D

It looked as if the Gators hadn’t played in three months, not three weeks. The tone was set early with an offsides penalty on the first play, though the flag-fest was hardly limited to the offense. The passing game was out of sync all night as Emory Jones completed only 14 of 36 passes. The running attack had a couple of sparks but never established itself. But give Dameon Pierce credit for going into the stands after the game and shaking hands with dozens of members of the band.

David Whitley:UCF delivers a fitting end to the Gators in Gasparilla Bowl

Defense: D

Yeah, three starters opted not to play and a fourth (Ty’Ron Hopper) got tossed out for throwing a punch. As weakened as they were, that doesn’t account for how a so-so UCF offense racked up 436 total yards. Did anyone check the tape and see if UCF runs a wide receiver reverse? Ryan O’Keefe gained 111 yards on two reverses on the way to 251 all-purpose yards. The new defensive staff will have a lot of messed-up tape to study from 2021.

FINAL: UCF Knights upset Florida Gators 29-17 in Gasparilla Bowl

Special Teams: D

Chris Howard missed two field goals, including a 51-yard attempt that didn’t make it to the 15-yard line. The Gators almost fumbled away a UCF squib kick that should have been easily covered, then they get their own on-sides kick that was lying there waiting to be pounced on. Special teams were a misadventure all season, so the wandering finish was only appropriate.

Florida-UCF takeaways:Emory Jones' inaccuracy, penalties hold Gators back