John Brantley threw a career-high four touchdown passes, and the University of Florida returned two fourth quarter interceptions for touchdowns to pull away from Furman, 54-32, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Gators became bowl eligible with the victory.
Furman (6-5, 5-3 SoCon) stunned Florida (6-5, 3-5 SEC) by quickly jumping out to a 22-7 lead, but the Gators settled in and out-scored the Paladins 47-10 over the game’s final three quarters.
Brantley calmly marched the Gators back, hitting 16-of-28 passes for a career-high 329 yards and four touchdowns, including 80 and 64-yarders to Andre Debose. Florida finished with 453 yards of total offense, 329 in the air and 124 on the ground. Debose had three receptions for a career-high 151 yards.
De’Ante Saunders gave the Gators some breathing room in the fourth quarter with a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown to put Florida up 47-32 with 12:52 to go. Jelani Jenkins iced the game with a 75-yard interception return with 4:00 remaining, giving UF a 54-32 lead. It was the Gators’ first game of 50+ points since scoring 55 points at Vanderbilt last November.
Florida got far more than it could have expected from Furman, who amassed 446 yards of offense, 233 on the ground and 213 through the air. Jerodis Williams finished the game with 133 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns for the Paladins.
The Gators conclude the regular season next Saturday night with the annual rivalry game with Florida State at the Swamp at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.