Photo: USA Today Sports
Florida finished the game with 413 total yards against Miami's 212. Florida went 6 for 15 on third downs, Miami went just 1 for 11. How on earth did Florida not win this game? Under Will Muschamp, Florida has won ugly and their dirty little secret (well maybe not that much of a secret) is that they simply aren't built to come from behind.
The Hurricanes grabbed control of this game early by jumping out to a 14-6 lead and then weathered the storm as Florida was never able to get into a flow on offense and was careless with the football. If you just look at raw stats, you would think that Jeff Driskel had a decent game as he went 22 for 33 for 291 yards. Not so much. Florida came away from this game with just one TD drive of over nine yards (and that was after Miami went up by 12 late in the fourth quarter). In the fourth quarter alone, Driskel had two turnovers. Overall, Florida turned the ball over five times. Five times!
Florida's defense wasn't perfect but when you only give up ten first downs, hold a team to 50 yards rushing and only allow 1 conversion on 11 third downs attempts, you should win the game. As constructed, the Florida offense doesn't have any play-makers and they don't seem to be able to push the ball down the field. Florida won four games by a TD or less last year. This year it looks like that might catch up to them. There has to be a lot of concern right now in Gainesville over the teams offensive identity or lack thereof. When pressure was put on Florida's offense today and they were backed into a corner, they simply didn't respond.
For Miami, this is a huge win. Is Miami 'back'? Not quite, but this was a landmark victory for Al Golden and they are definitely one of the teams to beat in the ACC Coastal this season.
What's next for Florida: The Gators have a week off, which won't feel like it after Muschamp gets done with them. Then they have a very intriguing match-up with the Vols, who will be fresh off a game against Oregon.
What's next for Miami: two cupcakes as Savannah State comes to town before the Hurricanes travel to USF on Sept 28th. Circle October 5th on your calendar as Paul Johnson and the triple option come to town.