Seniors combined to score all 23 points for the No. 6 Florida Gators (10-1) on Saturday as the team went on to finish the 2012 campaign undefeated in The Swamp by shutting out the Jacksonville State Gamecocks (6-5) on Senior Day at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL.
The victory marked just the third time in school history that Florida finished 7-0 at Florida Field. The Gators also achieved that record in 2006 and 2009, the latter of which was the freshman year for UF’s true senior class.
Florida got on the board first with 6:02 left in the first quarter as senior running back Mike Gillislee scored a touchdown from seven yards out. The trot into the end zone capped a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive that took 6:51 off the clock and included 11 runs and just one completed pass.
The Gators jumped ahead 17-0 early in the third quarter. After Florida backed Jacksonville State up near its end zone, senior Mike linebacker Jon Bostic intercepted quarterback Marques Ivory on third down and brought it back seven yards for the first pick-six of his career.
Joining in on the fun was redshirt senior kicker Caleb Sturgis, who made three of his four attempted field goals (the other was blocked) and kicked both extra points in the contest, scoring 11 total points on the afternoon. Sturgis is now just one made field goal away from matching Jeff Chandler as the school’s all-time leader in field goals (67).
The Gators outgained the Gamecocks 356-242 on the day with JSU gaining 76 yards on its very first play from scrimmage.
Florida outrushed Jacksonville State 202-48 but once again failed to attain first downs to extend drives, going just 2-for-11 on third down conversions.
Gillislee finished with 122 yards on 20 carries, his fourth 100+ yard game of the season. He 36 yards away from crossing the 1,000 yard plateau for the 2012 campaign.
Sophomore QB Jacoby Brissett, starting for the injured Jeff Driskel was 14-of-22 for 154 yards but missed at least two long passes that would have resulted in easy touchdowns for the Gators.
Florida will conclude the regular season on Saturday when it faces Florida State in Tallahassee, FL. The game will air live at 3:30 p.m. on a yet-to-be-determined network.
Photo Credit: John Raoux/Associated Press