Florida airs it out, tops EKU 52-3 on Senior Day; Gators become bowl-eligible

By Adam Silverstein
November 22, 2014

The Florida Gators (6-4) rolled to a 52-3 win over the Eastern Kentucky Colonels (9-3) on Senior Day at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, subsequently becoming bowl-eligible for the first time since 2012.

Florida quarterbacks freshman Treon Harris and redshirt junior Jeff Driskel combined for six total touchdowns, as wide receivers sophomore Demarcus Robinson and redshirt senior Quinton Dunbar each eclipsed 100 yards and hauled in two scores.

Harris completed just 4-of-12 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns, while Driskel was 9-for-11 for 164 yards with three passing touchdowns as well as a rushing score.

For Dunbar, who was playing his last game in The Swamp, the performance was the best of his Gators career. He registered a career-high 107 yards, caught his first touchdown since Nov. 24, 2012, and scored twice for the first time in his career.


Due to a 39-yard punt return by redshirt senior wide receiver Andre Debose, Florida took over at EKU’s 26 after the visitors punted on their opening possession. However, UF was unable to move the ball on offense and settled for a 48-yard field goal by redshirt sophomore kicker Austin Hardin.

Since their punt coverage was poor the first time, the Colonels tried to fake a punt on their next series, but Gators freshman running back Brandon Powell sniffed it out and Florida started on Eastern Kentucky’s 23. After converting a fourth down with Driskel keeping the ball out of a swinging gate formation, sophomore RB Kelvin Taylor trucked into the end zone from 13 yards out to put UF ahead 10-0 early.

The Gators’ defense failed it the next time the Colonels touched the ball. EKU fumbled thrice on a drive in which it also converted a 3rd and 17, but UF was unable to fall on the ball a single time. As a result, Eastern Kentucky drilled a 51-yard field goal to cut its deficit to a touchdown with XXX left in the first quarter.

EKU tried some more trickeration with an onside kick, but an illegal block forced a rekick and resulted in a 30-yard return by Debose. On the first play from scrimmage, Harris threw deep but short to Dunbar, who adjusted, grabbed the ball, broke a tackle and went 70 yards into the end zone for his first touchdown since Nov. 24, 2012.

Harris fumbled the ball for the third time in as many games after he bobbled a snap and was unable to find it, giving the Colonels great field position on the Gators’ eight-yard line. Florida was able to hold on and prevent a score, however, as junior defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. registered a tackle for loss on a reverse and Eastern Kentucky failed while trying a fake field goal run up the middle.

On the ensuing possession, the Gators forced and recovered a Colonels fumble with redshirt freshman defensive tackle Caleb Brantley knocking the ball loose and freshman DE Gerald Willis jumping on it. Two plays later, Harris hooked up with Robinson for a 19-yard touchdown on a play that was initially ruled incomplete.

A 54-yard pitch-and-catch between Harris and Robinson put Florida at the Eastern Kentucky 30 on its very next possession. After a sore knee forced Harris to leave the field, Driskel entered and led the Gators to a touchdown, completing a first down to Dunbar before running it in from two yards out to put UF up 31-3.

Driskel took over for Harris for good with 7:33 left in the third quarter. His first pass was a 16-yard third-down conversion to junior WR Latroy Pittman, and he followed that toss up with a perfectly-thrown 38-yard bomb to Robinson, who caught it like Willie Mays and ran into the end zone for his second touchdown of the afternoon.

Florida continued to roll as the third crossed into the fourth quarter. Driskel hit Robinson for 26 yards in the third and then continued the drive with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Dunbar, who scored his second of the afternoon. With less than seven minutes to play, Driskel threw his third touchdown of the day when he found redshirt senior walk-on WR Michael McNeely for a 28-yard score that put UF ahead 52-3.

The 49-point win was the second-largest margin of victory under head coach Will Muschamp at Florida; UF defeated Eastern Michigan 65-0 in the 2014 season-opener.

28 Comments

  1. Michael Jones says:

    Harris, 4-of-12, 162 yards, 2 passing touchdowns.

    Driskel, 9-of-11, 164 yards, 3 passing touchdowns, 1 rushing touchdown.

    Gatorboi, you’re an expert on quarterbacks. Can you help me with that math?

    • gatorboi352 says:

      You’re joking, right? Are you implying Driskel is a good quarterback here?

      Way to compare an 18 year old true freshman that went out due to injury to a 4th year junior, further proving you know not what you speak of.

    • 305Gator says:

      Not that Boi can’t defend himself but…………..
      Driskel played much better than Treon this time. Although he did throw a very nice pick to a wide open defender who just happened to drop it. Besides that he did well. That is the problem with Driskel, so inconsistent. Looked good against EKU, looked terrible against UT. Maybe he needs to come off the bench. This is the one and only time Drisklel has done better than Treon. I don’t see any reason to change QBs.
      Next year the QB completion will hopefully be between Treon and Grier.

    • Dave Massey says:

      What is your point other than that Driskel had good statistics against Eastern Kentucky and Eastern Michigan. If Florida was playing Eastern Florida this weekend I might feel better.

      Why don’t you post Driskel’s statistics against all the good teams he played against this year and help us out with that math.

  2. scroud says:

    Few comments today, I guess a lot of people skipped the game.

    I was thinking it will be interesting in the Spring when the new coach is here. There will be a QB competition and the guy will have an open mind. It’s very easy to conceive of Driskel being the starter next year. Who knows, with a new offensive scheme he might be successful.

    Here’s another thought. Spurrier fires his DC and hires Muschamp to be his defensive coach next season.

    • 305Gator says:

      “It’s very easy to conceive of Driskel being the starter next year. Who knows, with a new offensive scheme he might be successful.”

      That was the thought last summer when Roper was brought in with all the spread offense hype baloney which was supposed to be Driskel’s strength and natural system.
      I bought into all that B.S. then and not again. The QB completion will be between Grier and Harris. For his own good I hope Driskel goes play baseball.

  3. Oldflyer says:

    Happy for Jeff Driskel. How wonderful when his receivers catch the balls that hit them in the hands, and actually make some plays on contested balls.

    We know he was hurting after Bama, or maybe even UK, but will probably never know how much. He looked strong and confident today.

    If this was his last game at Florida Field it will be a nice one to remember.

    Nice to see the down field game clicking, it should give FSU something to think about, and they are vulnerable.

    What a wonderful exit if Champ can hand a loss on them, as Zook did, in his final game.

  4. 5wideU says:

    If you watched today, Driskel needs to start next week. If Harris can’t throw the ball any better than that against E. Kentucky, why not have him come of the bench if necessary next week ?

    No intermediate passing game with Harris and he couldn’t complete anything around the line of scrimmage. Doesn’t bode well next week particularly if we run the ball like we did today.

    • gatorboi352 says:

      “If you watched today, Driskel needs to start next week.”

      LOLOL

      Only way Driskel should start over ANYBODY is due to injury.

  5. BillyBob says:

    Lets not kid ourselves guys.. Harris should remain the starter at UF. After all, this was EKU not a SEC school! Glad to see Driskel play well though. Harris gives UF the best chance to win against elite competition because he doesn’t turn the ball over and he’s more decisive and clutch in his decision making. Not to mention he is more elusive in the pocket and more explosive on the run plays.

    • Oldflyer says:

      I do not agree with anything you posted. Today we saw a healthy JD, and we saw his receivers actually play more or less like SEC receivers–although Fulwood proved that he does not know how to run a route whether JD or TH has the ball.

      TH has done nothing to impress. He does throw a nice long ball, usually under thrown, but that seems to be the fashion. Apparently he cannot throw an accurate short or underneath route. As one TV blabber said early on, the team plays with more energy when he is in the game. Well, that is a team problem.

      If they cannot play with energy and focus against FSU in their coach’s final game, then it does not matter who the QB is.

      Jeff had a lot of offal dumped on his head for general team failings, and because fans got down on him and the pressure became relentless.

      It will be fascinating to see what decision he makes for next year. As a graduate student he will have a number of options to transfer and play, and the Boston Red Sox seem to think he has value.

      • Bill says:

        Eastern F’n Kentucky

        You talk like he played well against Bama

      • Ken (CA) says:

        yep, nothing to impress, except he hasn’t lost us any games and has managed the game. Yea, that’s it, let’s keep playing musical QB and never get any consistency at the position. Sure fire winning strategy there.

  6. Frank says:

    Sounds like some “sellers remorse”. Honestly, we should have never fired Coach. Big mistake. Coach knew what he was doing. So many blind to the truth. Now you guys are backing up on Harris. Fickle football fans. So glad I never wavered in my support of Coach. Not too late to change our minds, Mr. Foley…Urban did, we can too. It’s the right thing to do. This week was our “What have we done???” moment. Everything we want in the new guy, we already have. Okay guys, fire away.

    • Bill says:

      Because we beat eastern Kentucky. This post can’t be serious

      • Frank says:

        I in no way referenced the EKU game. And yes, I’m dead serious. We live in a Iphone, Ipad, instant gratification culture, where so many want it and want it NOW. Coach was BUILDING a program, or should I say, RE-building a program. He deserved more time. But Foley bent to the pressure of big-money boosters, media and microwave fans, firing the very one he now is going to try and replicate. Folks talk about wins…Meyer got wins and a couple of championships, but at what price??? I’ll say it again…Should have never fired Coach and we will regret the decision. Period.

    • Oldflyer says:

      I ain’t firing. I sent Coach WM an email in which I expressed confidence that he will be successful and my wish that it would be at UF.

      Impatience has a price.

    • G2 says:

      That’s crazy! True the players all seem to like him, I was pulling for him but we can’t live with these results. Seemed to be a dark cloud following him around (except for the 2 clock infractions we got by with this year), whatever could go wrong did go wrong. He did a lot of very good things for UF, just not in the won/loss department.

      Freeze or Dabo please!

  7. Rob says:

    Frank, I think most know he is a heck of a man and he will “eventually” be one heck of a head ball coach. Maybe sooner than later. Foley had no choice with the BullGators$$. Happy for the seniors! Go Gators!!

  8. BillyBob says:

    -Frank,

    Again we just defeated a low-major school not a SEC school. We did what we supposed to do today. The problem is Muschamp’s philosophy isn’t a good fit for UF. The run-first and clock eating offensive philosophy doesn’t work in the SEC consistently. True you can win a couple of games here and there with it but not enough games to be a championship caliber team with it. Champ is a good coach but he had his chance. Life is not fair. If your boss tells you your job is to correct something and you fail at it over and over again eventually he’s going to replace you with someone else. At the end of the day the results wasn’t there for Muschamp. Sure if he could have beat South Carolina he would’ve probably been retained another year. I do think we will beat FSU next week but it is time to move on. The next coach will have an easier job than Muschamp did when they arrive. Because they will have some talented returning players. VH3, Harris, Taylor, Robinson, Neal, Sharpe are all studs! Champ is a good man and I see him being the next DC/head-coach-in-waiting at South Carolina. Plus UF has to pay him 6.3 million. Thats more than enough cheddar to heal his wounds. He’s fine!

    • Oldflyer says:

      Gee. Maybe you should share your wisdom with Saban and even Richt and Pinkel. What’s the guy’s name at Auburn who runs the hell out of the ball? He would probably appreciate some advice as well.

      I think that if you checked, the old ball chunker historically splits about 50/50 himself.

  9. JimmyJam says:

    -Oddflyer

    UF’s offense has been the last thing from balanced with WM! Those teams you mentioned are very balanced. They have a run-first approach but their offense has explosive elements to it such as downfield passing opportunities. During WM tenure our offense has been a total failure and has not afforded us the downfield passing explosives. Too many games during his tenure we were defeated because teams jumped out on us early and we did not have an offense that could bring us back.

  10. 305Gator says:

    Don’t know who is having seconds thoughts about the Muschamp firing besides Frank and Oldflyer. I believe you 2 gents are in the very very small minority. The dude has proven to handle it in a classy way, his players now proclaim a deep love for the guy. yada yada yada. I for one can’t wait to see who Foley brings in next and for our program to become relevant once more.
    For anyone to imply Muschamp’s offense is viable is beyond any reason. It works great against cupcakes. Some of the time. But we all know the rest of the story, the W-L record doesn’t lie.
    The following is indicative of the Muschamp offense: “For Dunbar, who was playing his last game in The Swamp, the performance was the best of his Gators career. He registered a career-high 107 yards, caught his first touchdown since Nov. 24, 2012, and scored twice for the first time in his career.” Our starting WR had never ever in his 4 years scored 2 TDs in a single game. Whaaaaaaaat? Our starting WR went almost two freaking years without scoring a single TD! Whaaaaat????????? Our starting WR had never had more than 107 yards in any game! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat??????
    But Muschamp beat Georgia without having to throw the ball and convinced himself he could do that over and over again.
    Only to be proven wrong 2 weeks later.
    Muschamp is a class act, he is a very good defensive coach, he is a good teacher of young men. He is not a successful head coach at a big time program. His teams can’t play offense, his offensive players namely the WRs and the QBs are woefully under developed. Dunbar’s stats are a microcosm of what is wrong with Muschamp.
    Bring on the next guy.

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