Thursday, April 19, 2018
Colleges

Jon Bostic scores TD, saves TD in final Florida Gators home game

GAINESVILLE — Following his last game as a Gator in the Swamp, Jon Bostic was just trying to take it all in.

When the senior linebacker gave Florida some breathing room with a 7-yard interception return for a touchdown 4:22 into the second half, he still didn't get overly excited.

"Just kind of another defensive play," he said. "It's one thing we said: We've got to get in the end zone. Making plays, getting our hands on the ball, wish we could've come up with a couple more of those."

Although he downplayed his first touchdown since he was at Palm Beach Central High, Bostic made a significant impact, recording a half-sack and a touchdown-saving tackle during Florida's 23-0 win over Jacksonville State on Saturday.

"It really hasn't hit me yet," Bostic said. "I know it's my last (home) game, and I'm just pretty much excited to go out there. But at the same time, you always want to come back and run through (the tunnel)."

On the first offensive play of the game, the Gamecocks' Marques Ivory found Kevyn Cooper on a short pass to the right. Cooper was upended by cornerback Marcus Roberson but stayed on his feet and took off down the right sideline. Bostic chased him down and tackled him at the Florida 7 (for a 76-yard gain). Three plays later, Griffin Thomas missed a 25-yard field goal.

Bostic's interception made it a three-score game at 17-0. He easily ran into the end zone after Ivory's pass came right to him.

"It's a snag seven," Gators coach Will Muschamp said. "Exactly what we practiced, and it was perfect. As a coach, that's a great thing."

Cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy said he was happy for Bostic to go out on a high note.

"I know that's a memory he'll never forget," Purifoy said of the touchdown. "I know I'm going to miss him because that's a great linebacker. I went up to him when he caught it, and I was like, 'That's the way to go out.' "

For the season, Bostic is tied for second on the team with 58 tackles and tied for third with 6 1/2 tackles-for-loss. His three sacks are second to Dominique Easley.

Despite his strong season, when asked if he believed his performance would impress NFL scouts, Bostic made it clear his focus was not on the next level, but on his current team and next week's game against Florida State.

"I'll probably worry about most of that stuff after the season," Bostic said. "Really just trying to keep on winning games here; win as many games as we can and let everything else play out by itself."

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