Monday, June 18, 2018
Colleges

Mistakes continue to plague Florida Gators

GAINESVILLE — The mistakes are still there.

Despite Florida coach Will Muschamp's best efforts during the offseason and fall camp to address the penalties that plagued the Gators last season, it remained an issue.

Florida was penalized 14 times for 106 yards during Saturday's 27-14 win over Bowling Green — including two false starts during the opening drive. The Gators also had two penalties — roughing the passer and a late hit — during touchdown drives by Bowling Green.

"Believe me, we've exhausted every measure I know," Muschamp said. "We're going to continue to do so."

LOCAL IMPACT: Bay area athletes had key roles in Florida's first scoring drive.

Freshman RB Matt Jones had a 17-yard run that set up a first down on the Bowling Green 25. Then on fourth and 1 from the 16, sophomore FB Hunter Joyer gained a critical yard to keep the drive going. Mike Gillislee scored on a 15-yard run on the next play to tie the score at 7.

Among the eight freshmen who played, three were from the bay area: Kent Taylor (Land O'Lakes), Jones (Armwood) and Dante Fowler (Lakewood). Fowler had three tackles, including two solo — one on a critical fourth down.

"He's going to be a good football player," Muschamp said of Fowler. "He's got to continue to learn the game. He's got to play himself into shape. He's not in the best of shape right now. He, Jon Bullard and Antonio Morrison you saw on the field an awful lot, and they'll continue to do so."

Fowler, Morrison and Bullard combined for seven of the Gators' 57 tackles.

GOOD SEATS AVAILABLE: Florida's aggressive, summer-long marketing effort didn't pan out. Saturday's game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium was not a sellout, marking the second straight season the Gators did not sell out the opener.

An announced crowd of 84,704 was in attendance. (Capacity is 88,548.) Florida athletic officials said Bowling Green sold just 660 tickets. They generally allot 4,000-5,000 for visiting teams.

With the temperature soaring Saturday afternoon, some fans opted to bail out early.

The vacant seats didn't go unnoticed by players.

"It's hard, but I know it's going to pick up," senior DT Omar Hunter said. "It's like Coach said: We've got to win some games to bring people back out to The Swamp.

"We've got great fans, and I love our fans. They really get behind us and give us the energy we need. I know it's going to be right again. We're going to get it back."

JUST REWARD: Both Florida QBs, Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel, were on the field to begin the game, Brissett under center and Driskel at wideout. Muschamp said it was a reward for a job well done in fall camp.

"I felt like they both deserved to start based on their training camp; being two of our better players on the offensive side of the ball," Muschamp said.

"They both deserved to trot out there and start the game, and that's what we came up with."

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