Georgia Southern deals Florida worst loss in program history as Eagles top Gators 26-20

By Adam Silverstein
November 23, 2013

Already seemingly at rock bottom, the Florida Gators (4-7) on Saturday fell even deeper into a pit of despair, losing their sixth-straight while dropping a game to an FCS opponent for the first time in school history as the Georgia Southern Eagles (7-4) pulled off a 26-20 upset victory at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

The Eagles, set to join the FBS as a member of the Sun Belt Conference next season, earned their first-ever victory against an FBS opponent (previously 0-20). UF dropped its first-ever game to an FCS team and was outgained 429-279 on the afternoon despite the visitors not completing a single pass during the game.

Florida opened up with the football and immediately drove it down the field, picking up 63 yards on 13 plays before settling for a 27-yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. Freshman running back Kelvin Taylor accounted for 54 of those yards on eight carries.

The Gators found themselves with another scoring opportunity just moments later after the Eagles muffed a punt and gave UF great field position the 25-yard line. Florida moved the ball 17 yards on four plays but had redshirt junior walk-on kicker Frankie Velez 34-yard field goal blocked.

It did not take long for UF to earn another short field. On GSU’s first play of its ensuing drive, RB Johnathan Bryant fumbled the ball. Gators junior defensive back Jabari Gorman forced the fumble, and redshirt junior linebacker Michael Taylor jumped on top of it for the recovery.


On 3rd-and-Goal from the Eagles’ three, redshirt freshman quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg registered his first career touchdown by finding senior wide receiver Solomon Patton in the back of the end zone to put UF up 10-0.

Georgia Southern threatened to put some points on the board with about four minutes left in the first half, but Florida made a big play after allowing the visitors to drive the field. The Eagles rushed from their own 30 all the way down inside the Gators’ five, but a forced fumble by freshman LB Jarrad Davis was recovered by senior LB Darrin Kitchens to take away a scoring opportunity.

UF failed to move the ball and punted, allowing GSU to take over at the home 45-yard line. On 1st-and-10, Georgia Southern QB Kevin Ellison took it all the way to the house off the triple option, reducing Florida’s lead to just three points heading into the half.

The Eagles leaped ahead of the Gators just minutes into the start of the second half. A 66-yard run by J. McKinnon put GSU inside UF’s 10, and Ellison snuck it into the end zone on 4th-and-Goal from the one to put Georgia Southern ahead 14-10.

Unable to respond to the score, Florida punted from near its end zone out to its own 49. GSU immediately drove down its throat, moving 49 yards in eight plays before finding the end zone and taking a 20-10 lead following a failed extra point.

The Gators had a great opportunity to put a big dent in their deficit but settled for a 22-yard field goal by Velez. Senior WR Solomon Patton returned the kickoff 56 yards out to the Eagles’ 37, but Florida could not find the end zone despite earning 1st-and-Goal from the six-yard line.

Georgia Southern drove the field once again on its ensuing possession, but a fourth-down stop by Florida gave the Gators the ball at their own 41-yard line with less than seven minutes to play.

UF tied the game nearly immediately after taking over possession as Mornhinweg found Patton for a 46-yard touchdown that tied the game at 20 with 5:41 left to play.

Facing 3rd-and-2 at their own 36-yard line, the Eagles ripped off a 53-yard run down to the Gators’ 14. Two plays later, McKinnon charged into the end zone, but a missed extra point kept GSU’s lead at six with 2:57 to play.

Following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for end zone celebration, Florida was set to take over at midfield on the ensuing kickoff.

However, a 15-yard penalty on freshman defensive back Keanu Neal pushed UF back to its own 36 to start its final possession of the game.

The Gators drove all the way down to the Eagles’ 16 but failed on third and fourth down as the clock expired.

Florida will host No. 2 Florida State next Saturday in Gainesville, FL. The game will kick off at noon and air live on ESPN.

40 Comments

  1. Josh says:

    (Kerplunk)

  2. Nick says:

    So does ol Jeremy Foley have to rethink the vote of confidence on Muschamp? Is their anyway he can justify bringing him back?

  3. Champ supporter says:

    First, let me say I have strongly defended supporting this coaching staff. I am not a fan of negativity. However, I can no longer defend what is happening with this team. Whether it’s muschamp or pease or whoever, someone has to lose their job over this. I know injuries are a factor and some people have played that are not supposed to, but something has to change.

    It is hard for me to believe that a D-1 college football team only practices 6 plays all year!!! It may be more than 6, but I can tell what play is coming. Where is the fun? Where is the innovation? Where is the ability to put your team in the best position to win? Why wait until you are desperate to throw? It’s funny that I would rather lose knowing that team took chances instead of the boring display of play calling on the offensive side of the ball!!!

    I just need to see that the University of Florida is serious about getting better. Quite frankly, this offense and team has become very painful to watch. Very painful!!!

    It’s very painful to say, but go gators!!!

  4. Aaron says:

    Can’t wait to see the comment thread on this one

  5. Sharon M. says:

    Any other Gator team would have won this game.

    Get rid of Muschamp and Pease. They clearly do not know how to fix this. It will only get worse next year, if changes aren’t made soon.

    Next week will be the worst DFS-Gator game in school history.

  6. eric says:

    Outcoached …..period.

    Embarassing….

    Waste of a season…

  7. JohnJD says:

    Bye Will. Just go away. No excuse for this. Look at the teams that they lost to prior to waxing us.

  8. Aligator says:

    good Lord!we need some help!

  9. Todd says:

    Congrats Billy D. We’re officially a basketball school.

  10. Daniel M. says:

    GS was 0-3 passing and rushed for 429 yards. Glad I didn’t witness this one. Adam’s twitter feed was even painful.

    For the first time I’m beginning to question if Muschamp is the right guy to lead UF football.

  11. SW FL Joe says:

    Any feel the need to apologize to Muschamp now

  12. David W. says:

    How does a defensive minded head coach allow an FCS school to run for 429 yards who only attempted 3 passes? As usual, the team was not prepared on either side of the ball. If this isn’t a reason to change coaches what will be? We, and especially, Jeremy Foley, should demand better. Fire Muschamp now.

  13. Geoff says:

    I’ve supported Muschamp this whole time. I can’t any more. This is so pitiful …. So ugly. You get them pumped up to play a hard dough contest in South Carolina but you don’t protect the swamp??? This is infathomable. Bring in Charlie Strong. Beg him!

  14. Champ supporter says:

    I know Muschamp gets the blame because he is the head coach, but it’s too hard to defend the option. It’s too hard to stop especially for a team that sells out and does it all the time. The only way to defend it is to put points on the board and make them throw. We couldn’t score! At the least, a new offensive philosophy has to come to florida!!!

    • David W. says:

      If it was too hard every team in America would be running it. It doesn’t work against competent, disciplined defenses. All good defenses can stop it.

      • Champ supporter says:

        Yeah, that’s right, I forgot everyone runs the same offenses across the country. It isn’t that easy! And do you see the players who were trying to stop that easy option offense??? Who is #36 Campbell? That explains it there! But this same easy offense rushed for 350 against Alabama last year! Guess they weren’t competent either! Difference, Alabama scored points, florida didn’t!

      • gary says:

        Adam, I know you’re probably suppose to stay neutral but, re: Muschamp. Stay or go?

        • I will never call for a coach to be fired. One of the first things I was ever told by a well-known sports writer is that is not our job.

          If you’re asking me to predict, no, he will stay.

          If I was Foley, I most likely would fire him depending upon who I thought I could get.

  15. JaxGator384 says:

    Please please run these clowns Muschamp and Pease out of Gainesville. Pat Haden had the guts to send an embarrassing Lane Kiffin packing (Look what the head coaching change to Orgeron has meant). Unfortunately Jeremy Foley does not due to his enormous ego. That is unbelievable because I always respected him for doing what needed to be done and demanding excellence. This is a sad day for Gator Fans…I am truly embarrassed. Go Gators!!!

  16. Ken (CA) says:

    Anyone want to predict the upcoming press conference? “We just didn’t execute well today. That’s on me. We need to simplify the playbook more to give our guys more confidence. They played their hearts out but as head coach I have to take the blame for the loss”

    • Uf_84 says:

      And some of us fans need to get a grip. I’ll bet the locker chalk boards were trembling in fear after the game.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        haha, love it. you grad just as I started looks like. Funny, the one presser I predict actually is the first one this year that goes off script. He must be getting extremely concerned about job security now to be throwing staff under the buss already.

        • Sharon M. says:

          I thinki it is Muschamp and Pease who really need to “get a grip.” This has gone way beyond what any fan could predict. Get rid of the both now! I feel really sorry for the players.

  17. Distraught says:

    Champ Supporter, glad to see u come around. Someone has got to be fired. Muschamp is my choice then Pease, preferably both. Then maybe fire Foley (or Phony) himself. We got to make a statement or lose any recruits.

  18. Matt Burris says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Fans and coaches can blame the injuries all they want, but even the 3rd string at UF should be able to win against Georgia Southern. Today’s loss cannot be blamed on injuries.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      There is no way to blame injuries for this. GA Southern only has 65 scholarship athletes, and 19 of them didn’t even play today!

  19. Sharon M. says:

    It is going to be very embarrassing next week, as if the other losses weren’t enough.

    Both coaches need to go or fans will stop coming to games.

  20. RoadDogRuss says:

    At linebacker today we had a walk on playing. Campbell. Look it up. Can’t blame injuries my ass. The injury in question? Taylor in the first quarter. Cheap chop block by those maggots. Just my opinion.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      absolutely cannot blame injuries. look above…they have 20 less players on scholarship than us, and of those 19 didn’t play. Our walk on should be better than most of their scholarship players.

      • RoadDogRuss says:

        Key word, should. You expect a walk on to be better than their scholarship players? Your expectations haven’t been met, so you’re looking for someone to blame. I understand.

        • Ken (CA) says:

          seriously? I am not “looking” for someone to blame, so to speak. I was just trying to make a point. Injuries can be absolutely no excuse when you already have 20 more scholarship players than the other team, and on top of that, they have 19 more of their scholarship players that are unable to play. Not to mention you are getting 4 and 5 star recruits and they are getting recruits that likely haven’t even received an offer from one of the 120 or so D1 schools. Yes, there are breakout players in FCS, like a Jerry Rice, but by and large, even with our injuries, there is no way their 2 deep should even come close to lining up with our scout team let alone our main players. And yet, they blew us out on both sides of the ball.

          • JaxGator384 says:

            You are obviously a relative of Will Muschamp. You cannot blame injuries here when they were more beat up than us. Our Walkon players are the type of players with scholarships from lower level schools like Ga Southern but prefer to play for the Gators. So no I will not accept that as an excuse. We were just outplayed and outcoached which has been the issue for most of the season. This offense is inept and cannot score points and our defense was gutted today. Go Gators!!!

  21. CH says:

    CHAMP SUPPORTER!! Thanks for showing the guts to admit a change of heart. I didn’t think I’d see any supporters of muschamp on here after the embarrassment today.
    Ken (CA) you forgot to add, “it is what it is so the fans need to get a grip”

  22. Sharon M. says:

    I think Muschamp is the one who needs to “get a grip!”

  23. Uf_84 says:

    Just got home from the game. The loss doesn’t shock me at all. Sadly I pretty much expected it. SSDD, can’t score, can’t win. I just wish we could forfeit next weeks game. Let’s face it, if FSU wants to beat us 100 to 0 they can. I’m still undecided if I’m even going to go. Some Nole friends of mine have offered some pretty good change for my tickets but I’m going to give them the satisfaction of using my tics to be there to witness the biggest beat down in the history of this series.
    I’m not blaming the players at all. They’re playing hard but they’re severely handicapped by the clueless idiots instructing them on the sidelines. Get used to all those empty seats Foley. There’s going to be a lot more next year if you’re really intent on keeping this clown.
    Honestly, if Mustchoke had any kind of class, and dignity he would realize how far down he has brought this once great program and resign.

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