No. 8 Florida Survives Major Upset Bid Against Florida Atlantic

No. 8 Florida Survives Major Upset Bid Against Florida Atlantic

The Gators kept their playoff hopes alive as they survived Florida Atlantic's upset bid. The Gators won 20-14 in over time.

Norman Tall

The eighth ranked Florida Gators survived what would have been a candidate for upset of the year against the 2-8 Florida Atlantic Owls. 

The game was very sloppy as the game was tied at zero heading into halftime. The two teams picked up the intensity after that as they battled to a 14-14 tie at the end of regulation.

Florida got the scoring started on a one-yard touchdown run by running back Kelvin Taylor. The score was set up by an Antonio Morrison sack that was returned inside the five yard line by Taven Bryan. Taylor punched it in two plays later.

After a quick possession for the Owl's, Florida put together its only other touchdown of regulation as Treon Harris found the dynamic freshman Antonio Callaway for a 53-yard touchdown. 

It looked like Florida would begin to return to its dominate form again as they built a quick 14-0 lead but the Owls would not go away as they were able to cut the lead to seven on their ensuing possession as Jaquez Johnson found Kalib Woods from 10-yards out. 

Florida was unable to build on their lead and soon after the Owls first touchdown they got another, but this time it came on the defensive side as Treon Harris was stripped and Ocie Rose recovered the ball in the endzone to even things up at 14 apiece. Neither team was able to find the endzone again and this one ended up going to overtime.

Florida got the ball first and on their third play of overtime Harris found tight end Jake McGee for a touchdown.

The Owls only got the ball back down six as Florida had the PAT blocked. The Gators struggled mightily in the kicking game as they missed two field goals and an extra point in this game. The Owls got a first and goal in overtime but were eventually stopped on three straight plays and the Gators pulled out a hard fought victory.

The win kept the Gators playoff hopes alive as they improved to 10-1 and now await the Florida State Seminoles next week in their regular season finale before heading to Atlanta the following week for the SEC Championship game.

Florida coach Jim McElwain had this to say following the teams victory:

"First and foremost, they took it to us. We've got to get a lot better. They took it to us; they probably deserved to win. But here's the great thing: Our guys are figuring out a way to win, and that's important."

"I think a lot of it has to do with we've got to look in the mirror and quit looking around. But at the same time, I think we have 10 wins, don't we? The Swamp was pretty electric, it's a great place to play, and we might have sold some extra popcorn."

"I think when we kind of look back on it, we'll get it studied. But I think the biggest thing is believe in each other; that's the key, and just go win this down, and our defense did a great job at that at the end."

The game was not pretty as Harris finished just 8-17 for 122 yards and two touchdowns as well as one interception and the fumble. Kelvin Taylor had a very pedestrian day on the ground as he finished with a touchdown on 25 carries for 98 yards. 

The Gators defense had a very good day as they forced three turnovers and sacked the Owls five times.

After a hard fought victory like this, Florida will need to be more prepared in the future, but for now, they should enjoy this victory as it helped them to get one step closer to the playoffs.