Sugar Bowl defeat serves as motivation

Florida’s 2012 football season was a very successful one. The Gators finished with an 11-2 on the record but the Gators’ final loss in the Allstate Sugar Bowl is the one game Florida fans remember the most.

That loss has stuck with the Gators coaches and players throughout the 8 months since the season ended in New Orleans.

Will Muschamp likes to constantly remind his players of a letdown, putting reminders of the Sugar Bowl loss all around the football facilities since the January defeat.

“Coach (Jeff) DIllman has this big poster of the score when we walk in the door,” Dominique Easley said. “Every day we have to see it. It’s a reminder that it’s our last game we played and we don’t want to forget it.”

Easley isn’t the only one still upset about the game, quarterback Jeff Driskel is eager to redeem himself.

“We were definitely embarrassed in the Sugar Bowl,” Driskel said. “Louisville put it to us and there aren’t many days that go by that we don’t hear the score, 33-23. It’s motivation going into this year and we are ready to get back out there against Toledo.”

For Easley and the rest of the team, the loss is something that has constantly motivated them this offseason.

“It’s motivation to us, that game and the Georgia game,” Easley said. “The two losses that we had during the season. We don’t like to lose; we expected to be at a certain place that we weren’t at, so we have to get there.”

When players go to college they constantly build friendships with teammates. For a senior to lose their last game, it’s tough, something the underclassmen don’t enjoy seeing.

“Of course that was tough to see,” Easley said. “That’s something you never want to go out on. That’s the last memory I have of playing with some of the boys that I basically grew up with. When you go to college you grow up with people, so that’s not a memory that you want to leave behind.”

Florida has had a long time to think about everything that went wrong in the season-ending loss.

“Emotion wise, mental mistake, preparing for the game,” Easley said.  “It’s really about preparing for the game. I guess we didn’t do it like we were supposed to do it, like for all the other games. We need to try it another way. We just didn’t play to our ability. We took off a game I would say and that’s something that we’ll never ever do again.”


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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.