Florida vs. Miami No. 55 started with the Gators moving down the field about as well as you could hope for until disaster struck in the form of Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman’s helmet to Matt Jones’ right arm. The well-timed hit turned into a fumble and the Hurricanes recovered and took the ball 50 yards to score on a seven yard Stephen Morris connection to receiver Herb Waters. Florida played mostly soft coverage on the drive and the Canes moved the ball with precision.
Two drives later, after Florida stopped Miami for a three and out, the Gators were able to get a blocked punt by cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida set up shop at the Miami nine and punched it in three plays later when quarterback Jeff Driskel executed a textbook QB keeper on a zone read play. The Gators ran a head scratching two-point conversion attempt that failed when Trey Burton was unable to reach the endzone.
On the ensuing drive, Morris connected with WR Phillip Dorsett to put Miami up 14-6. Not to be outdone, Driskel came back on the next drive with a 46-yard bomb to Solomon Patton, unfortunately Driskel had a pass intercepted later in the drive, ending the scoring for the first half.
Halftime score: Miami 14 – Florida 6.
The third quarter ended without many fireworks. Florida did have a drive that again sputtered in the red zone, kicker Austin Hardin was able to connect on a field goal however, to bring the score to 14-9. The Gators defensive line did turn up the heat on Miami, playing very well to start the second half.
In the fourth, Morris made a critical mistake with a deep pass that got intercepted by freshman Vernon Hargreaves, it was VH3’s second interception in two games played in his college career. The interception set up Florida to take a potential go ahead score. Once again, Driskel threw another pick to defensive back Tracy Howard to end any chance at points.
With 5:28 left to go, the Gators got the ball at their own 14 yard line only to have Driskel take a vicious hit, resulting in a fumble that set Miami up to score on a two yard touchdown run by Duke Johnson to put the Hurricanes up 21-9. Florida would not go down quietly into the night however. Driskel connected on a 24-yard touchdown with Solomon Patton after a four play 61 yard drive with 2:08 remaining to put the score at 21-16. Florida’s following onside kick was not recovered and with only one timeout left for the Gators, Miami was able to milk the clock down to :37.
With one last shot, Florida took the ball at their own 20 with 80 yards in front of them before a Jeff Driskel sack ended the game.
Final score: Miami 21 – Florida 16.
QB Jeff Driskel: 22-33 C/ATT, 291 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT
RB Matt Jones: 18 CAR, 47 YDS
WR Solomon Patton: 6 REC, 118 YDS, 1 TD
QB Stephen Morris: 12-25 C/ATT, 162 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT
RB Duke Johnson: 21 CAR, 51 YDS, 1 TD
WR Allen Hurns: 4 REC, 60 YDS
The Good: Driskel’s 46 yard bomb to Solomon Patton in the first quarter, it’s the vertical passing game Florida fans want to see.
The Bad: Florida’s red zone efficiency in the first half.
On separate possessions, the Gators reached Miami's 28, 11 & 17 and got no points on those trips. UM up 14-6, 7:22 til half.
— Jason Lieser (@PBPjasonlieser) September 7, 2013
The Ugly: Right tackle Tyler Moore, three penalties on the big Nebraska transfer at right tackle.