The Florida Gators football team advanced to 1-0 on their redemption tour with a decisive and punishing victory over the Eastern Michigan Eagles, 65-0.
A win in this fashion was something the Gators hadn’t experienced since a 70-19 victory over Citadel in 2008. Points were a dime a dozen on Saturday night in the Swamp and the Gators score more than five-dozen points.
Here are the fast five takeaways from the first win of the 2014 season.
1. This team is fun to watch.
Andre Debose, Matt Jones, Max Garcia and Quinton Dunbar all agreed that playing in this new offense has brought fun back to the team. None of them can remember putting up that many points on an opponent in a game, even dating back to high school.
The fun that the players are having translated to the fans as well. Down on the Eagle’s side of the field, the Gators held the ball with a 65-0 edge. The ravenous fans began chanting, “we want 70! We want 70!”
Are you kidding me? You can take any two games from Florida’s 2013 game and combine them together and not get the score that Florida amassed today and the fans were having so much fun they wanted to punch in another one.
655 yards of offense
This is how you win fans back after a terrible season. Put a winning product on the field but — maybe just as importantly — put a product on the field that the fans enjoy to watch. Put out a team that makes people want to travel to Gainesville and come see the team in person.
Saturday was a step in the right direction, but the fun is just getting started.
2. Welcome, freshmen
In total, the Gators used 19 freshmen (9 true freshmen and 10 redshirt freshmen) on the night. Will Muschamp has never been afraid to use young players and he proved that tonight.
3. The game was won but at a big cost
Jake McGee broke his tibia and fibula in the second quarter of the game on Saturday (the same injury Jeff Driskel sustained) and will miss the remainder of the season.
McGee didn’t catch a pass before he was rolled up on from behind and lost for the year.
Senior tight end Clay Burton stepped up in a big way on Saturday, catching 7 passes for 42 yards, but the loss of McGee is huge. Florida will need to continue to get production form the tight end position and that may mean C’yontai Lewis or DeAndre Goolsby may need to step into a greater role than they anticipated.
No, I’m not talking about the lightning that chased the teams off of the field last week, I’m talking about Gators making big, electric plays on the field.
Kelvin Taylor 31-yard run
Matt Jones 45-yard TD run
Quinton Dunbar 42-yard reception
Brandon Powell 12-yard TD run
Kelvin Taylor 14-yard run
Mack Brown 47-yard run
Demarcus Robinson 70-yard TD catch
Mark Herndon 78-yard TD catch
Darius Masline 13-yard run
And how about the stat of the night: Freshman quarterback Treon Harris finished the game 2-of-2 for 148 yards and two touchdowns. That’s good for a passer rating of 1,051.6. Not too shabby.
5. This is Will Muschamp’s deepest team
He said it and people scoffed, but the statement is a fact. This team is deep and Muschamp showed that by playing a solid rotation of 10 defensive linemen, had eight players carry the ball on offense and 11 players catch a pass.
Florida will continue to rotate players in and out of the game because they can. Something they didn’t have the luxury of doing in seasons past.