Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gators seniors limp to disappointing finish

GAINESVILLE — Florida's senior class entered Saturday's matchup against No. 2 Florida State with its hopes of reaching a bowl game already dashed. At this point, all it wanted was to leave UF on a high note.

But there was no redeeming end for these seniors, as the Gators fell 37-7 on senior day at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

"We already had a bad year, but our goal was to send them out the right way," sophomore defensive end Jonathan Bullard said. "I'm sad we didn't do that."

The loss, Florida's seventh in a row, was reminiscent of the Gators' entire season. A team plagued by injuries all year saw senior receiver Trey Burton leave in the first quarter with a left shoulder injury.

"With Trey's injury, it was a microcosm of what's kind of occurred," coach Will Muschamp. "It's very frustrating."

On the second play of Florida's second drive, Burton injected the Gators with confidence. In the wildcat formation — a package synonymous with Burton throughout his four years — he rushed for 50 yards to the FSU 33-yard line. But two plays later, Burton was injured on another rushing attempt.

He missed the remainder of the game, returning to the sideline wearing street clothes and a bag of ice draped over his shoulder.

"I kind of felt like I let my team down a little bit," Burton said. "Obviously, that's something I can't control."

Afterward, Muschamp said Burton would have played a bigger role than usual in the offense had he not been injured.

"Trey at quarterback was probably going to get 30-35 snaps in the game, so you're talking about 50 percent," Muschamp said.

In the absence of Burton, many of the other senior contributors on offense were mostly ineffective.

Senior Solomon Patton, the team's season leader in receiving yards with 556, caught five balls for only 2 yards.

Redshirt senior offensive linemen Jon Halapio, Jonotthan Harrison and Kyle Koehne also could not jump-start the offense. The Gators rushed for 78 yards and finished with only 193 total yards.

When Florida honored its seniors in a pregame ceremony, former defensive tackle Dominique Easley, who tore an ACL in his knee in September, walked out of the tunnel last.

As Easley watched his team struggle, he saw a group of seniors who had been to the Sugar Bowl and earned wins in the Outback Bowl and Gator Bowl end their college careers with a thud.

Gators seniors limp to disappointing finish 11/30/13 [Last modified: Saturday, November 30, 2013 10:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jose De Leon sent back to minors after helping Rays win

    Blogs

    RHP Jose De Leon worked 2 2/3 innings to get the win in his Rays debut Monday and then was optioned back to Triple-A Durham.

    De Leon was brought up to provide length and depth in the bullpen after the Rays played 15 innings on Sunday, and he did that, allowing three runs on four hits while throwing 69 …

  2. Rays rally twice to beat Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Starting Erasmo Ramirez on Monday after he closed out Sunday's marathon win turned out, despite the Rays' best intentions and rigid insistence, to be a bad idea as he gave up four runs without getting through three innings.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers and comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    The Rays had good reason to have faith in RHP Erasmo Ramirez starting Monday after closing Sunday based on his resiliency, versatility and efficiency. But it still turned out to be a bad idea as he allowed four runs without getting through three innings.

  4. Rays journal: Dugout bench becomes bed for Logan Morrison at end of long night

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays found creative ways to get through the physical and mental fatigue of the 6½ hours they spent playing — and ultimately winning — Sunday's game in Minnesota.

    Corey Dickerson drapes towels over an exhausted Logan Morrison in the dugout during the 15th inning of Sunday’s marathon victory.
  5. Rays at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. Tuesday, Arlington, Texas

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Rangers

    8:05, Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 2: Nick Martinez #22 of the Texas Rangers poses for a portrait during photo day at Surprise Stadium on March 2, 2015 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)