Instant analysis: UF 27, Bowling Green 14
September, 1, 2012
By Michael DiRocco | ESPN.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It was a little tense for a while, but No. 23 Florida finally pulled away in the fourth quarter for the victory over Bowling Green in front of 84,704 at Florida Field.
The Gators (1-0) didn’t look crisp on offense and struggled at different times on the defensive line, but were just good enough to win their 23rd consecutive season opener. That’s the second-longest current streak in the nation, behind only Nebraska (27).
It was over when: Frankie Hammond caught a short pass from Jeff Driskel, shook a tackle from Bowling Green CB Cameron Truss, and went 50 yards for a touchdown to give the Gators a 24-14 lead with 13:18 remaining.
Game ball goes to: Florida RB Mike Gillislee proved he’s capable of being the Gators’ No. 1 tailback. The senior ran for 148 yards on 24 carries. He set career highs with 94 yards rushing and two touchdowns in the first half.
Stat of the game: Florida committed 10 penalties for 76 yards in the first half, but committed just four in the second half.
What it means: It appears that Driskel will be the Gators' starting quarterback moving forward. The sophomore played the entire first quarter and into the second and the entire second half. Driskel finished 10-of-16 for 114 yards and one touchdown. Jacoby Brissett played only in the second quarter and completed 3-of-5 passes for 31 yards.
Turning point: Florida CB Marcus Roberson intercepted a tipped pass at the UF 17-yard line early in the fourth quarter to stop the Falcons from scoring a potential go-ahead touchdown. Roberson returned the ball 31 yards, and three plays later Hammond broke free for his 50-yard TD.
Second guessing: Offensive coordinator Brent Pease made several questionable play calls in short-yardage situations. He had Driskel pull off a quick punt (which went only 15 yards) on fourth-and-6, called a rollout pass on fourth-and-1, and called another rollout pass on third-and-2. None of them worked.
What we learned about this team: The offense is still a work in progress, especially the passing game. The receivers did not consistently get open, and the quarterbacks missed wide-open throws, too. Now, things may have purposely been a little vanilla because of next week’s game against Texas A&M. The Gators didn’t show as many motions and shifts as expected. Still, there was no rhythm to the passing game.
Best call: Bowling Green coach Dave Clawson called a fake punt on fourth-and-5 from midfield, and P Brian Schmiedebusch ran to his right and gained 8 yards. The Falcons got an extra 15 because returner Andre Debose hit Schmiedebush out of bounds. RB Anthon Samuel scored on a 12-yard run three plays later to tie the game at 14-14 with 9:57 remaining in the third quarter.
SEC players featured on Kiper's Big Board
TBD Bowling Green Tennessee TBD Wisconsin Alabama TBD UTEP Arkansas TBD Louisville Auburn TBD New Mexico State Florida TBD Louisiana-Monroe Georgia TBD Louisiana-Lafayette Kentucky TBD McNeese State LSU TBD Southeast Missouri State Missouri TBD Tennessee-Martin Ole Miss TBD Mississippi State Southern Miss TBD Arizona State Texas A&M TBD Western Kentucky Vanderbilt