November 19, 2011

Instant Analysis: Florida wins ugly

It wasn't pretty, but Florida gained bowl eligibility with a 54-32 win over Furman in The Swamp on Saturday. Here is some quick reaction from the game:

IT WAS OVER WHEN: De'Ante Saunders picked off a pass by Furman quarterback Chris Forcier and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown with 13 minutes left in the game. It gave the Gators a 47-32 lead and some breathing room for the first time in the game. The interception was Saunders' second in two weeks.

THIS STAT DOESN'T LIE: Furman ran the ball for 233 yards on 5.2 yards per carry. It was the fourth time this season Florida allowed an opponent to rush for over 200 yards in a game. The Paladins hung around with a reliable rushing attack. UF's run defense continues to be its biggest weakness heading into the last week of the season.

HE STOLE THE SHOW: UF wide receiver Andre Debose had three catches for 151 yards and two scores, one for 80 yards and one for 64. Debose continues to be the Gators best big play receiver and UF was able to swing the momentum back on their side thanks to John Brantley being able to count on Debose's ability to make plays on deep balls.

OH WHAT A PLAY: Debose's 80-yard touchdown catch on a slightly under thrown ball by Brantley that cut the Furman lead to 22-20 before the half. It energized the crowd and eased the tension in the air.

THIS MATCHUP PROVED KEY: UF's wide receivers vs. Furman's defensive backs. FU's defensive backs couldn't run with Florida's skilled position players so Brantley was able to get the Gators back in the game behind a career-high 329 passing yards and four touchdowns. Debose, Quinton Dunbar and Jordan Reed all proved to be mismatches for Furman's defense, which saved a uncharacteristically bad performance by Florida's defense.

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