Instant Analysis: Offensive fireworks in an otherwise disappointing victory

Nov 13, 2021 | 0 comments

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After being down 42-35 at the half, on the arm of Emory Jones, Florida rallied for a 70-52 win over FCS Samford on Saturday afternoon in the Swamp.

Here's the Instant Analysis.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: A pass by Samford quarterback Liam Welch sailed over the head of Michael Vice on 4th-and-7 and fell incomplete. It gave Florida the ball back, where Dameon Pierce scampered into the endzone and gave Florida a 70-52 lead with just over five minutes left in the game.

THEY STOLE THE SHOW: The quarterbacks (and offenses) for both teams put up absolute numbers. Lost in the shuffle of this game’s drama is the day Emory Jones had. He had his first career 300-yard and 400-yard passing game, an 82 percent completion percentage while accounting for seven total touchdowns and 550 yards of offense. Meanwhile, Samford’s Welch posted 400 yards through the air combined with 65 on the ground and five total touchdowns.

THESE STATS DON’T LIE: Let’s start with 358 yards of offense and 42 points given up in the first half to the Samford Bulldogs compared to 10 points and 172 yards in the second. It seemed the Gators were in jeopardy as they went into halftime down seven. But the defense righted the ship, Florida took control of the game and the Gators escaped what would’ve been the lowest point in the Dan Mullen era.

Honestly, let’s highlight both offenses. This game finished with 1247 yards of offense between both squad and 122 points too. You’d have thought this game was played in the Cotton Bowl the way these teams moved the ball. Or even a basketball court.

THIS MATCH-UP PROVED KEY: The Florida defense vs. the Samford passing attack. The Bulldogs gave the Gators fits all day whether it was nickel-and-diming the Gators or taking big chunks over the middle of the field and down the sideline. If Florida wanted to win the game, it would need a stop on defense to do it. Those stops happened in the second half.

OH, WHAT A PLAY: Dameon Pierce took a hand-off to the right side, saw nothing there, and cut back to the left. He hustled his way through the middle of the defense and into the endzone for his third total touchdown of the day. The senior running back finished with 126 yards from scrimmage on 10 touches along with those three scores. He punctuated a 324-yard and six-touchdown day on 28 touches for Florida’s three-headed RB monster.

UP NEXT: The Gators will hit the road next weekend for a 4:00 p.m. game against the Missouri Tigers. They need one more win to achieve bowl eligibility this season.

Tags: Event

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