1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Gators

Even Louisville was surprised how FSU ‘laid down’ in 2016 blowout

New Florida Gators edge rusher Jonathan Greenard played in the 63-20 rout. “It was kind of shocking to us."
Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois (12) is sacked by Louisville linebacker Jonathan Greenard (58) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sep. 17, 2016, in Louisville Ky. Louisville won 63-20. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) [TIMOTHY D. EASLEY  |  AP]
Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois (12) is sacked by Louisville linebacker Jonathan Greenard (58) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sep. 17, 2016, in Louisville Ky. Louisville won 63-20. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) [TIMOTHY D. EASLEY | AP]
Published Aug. 22, 2019

GAINESVILLE — When I talked with Gators edge rusher Jonathan Greenard for a story on his transition from Louisville to Florida, I had to ask him about one of the most memorable games I’ve ever covered.

His Cardinals’ 63-20 blowout win over Florida State in a top-10 showdown in 2016.

“Oh, man,” Greenard said. “I got my first sack against them. That was a hell of a game.”

I’m not sure I’d say that. I’d describe it as probably the most shocking result I’ve seen in my career.

I knew Louisville was good, and I knew quarterback Lamar Jackson was a rare talent. That was obvious the week before when he hurdled a Syracuse defender in one of the biggest highlights of his Heisman Trophy season. Greenard and his teammates saw the same thing.

“We knew the game before when we played Syracuse … we understood this guy was special,” Greenard said. “That’s when he hurdled over that guy and was like, all right, cool.

“The next game, we played Florida State. That whole week of practice, we were on it. We kind of knew going into the game they were going to have their hands full with us. They had no answer for him. When they didn’t have an answer for him, that’s when we knew we had it.”

RELATED: Lamar Jackson was almost a Gator

I figured Louisville had a chance to beat the Seminoles that day. The Cardinals were No. 10 in the country and playing one of their biggest home games in years, with ESPN’s College GameDay in town.

But I never envisioned a 43-point demolition in a game that somehow didn’t even feel that close. Turns out I’m in good company; Greenard was surprised, too.

“I knew we were going to beat them, but I didn’t know we were going to beat them that bad,” said Greenard, who finished with three tackles (1 ½ for a loss). “I think what it was is how they laid down. They just kind of let it happen, almost. It was kind of shocking to us. This is Florida State ball. We’ve never seen that.”

RELATED: We ranked every 2019 college football game involving Florida teams


  1. Auburn center Austin Wiley guards Florida forward Omar Payne during the first half of their game on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Gainesville. Payne, a freshman out of Montverde Academy, finishes with a career-high 19 points and 11 rebounds for his first double double in college. [MATT STAMEY  |  AP]
    Freshman Omar Payne has a career-high 19 points and 11 rebounds as UF earns its most impressive victory of the season.
  2. Florida's Keyontae Johnson, shown here scoring against Arkansas in last season's SEC tournament, is averaging 13 points and 6.8 rebounds this season. [MARK HUMPHREY  |  AP]
    UF looks for an elite win Saturday at home, where it has won five in row, to help strengthen its NCAA Tournament resume.
  3. Florida guard Andrew Nembhard shoots over Mississippi guard Devontae Shuler during their game Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, in Gainesville. [BRAD MCCLENNY  |  AP]
    Coach Mike White says his point guard missed practice Thursday and Friday. If he’s out, freshmen Tre Mann or Ques Glover likely will start Saturday.
  4. Todd Monken spent two seasons in Tampa Bay, the last as offensive coordinator, before being dismissed along with the rest of head coach Dirk Koetter's staff after the 2018 season.
    Tampa Bay’s former play-caller will be designing game plans for the Bulldogs against the Florida Gators next season.
  5. Florida Gators wide receiver Antonio Callaway (81) runs the ball during the Outback Bowl in January at Raymond James Stadium. (Times file)
    Antonio Callaway was a talented but troubled player for the Gators who didn’t last two seasons with the Cleveland Browns.
  6. Florida receiver Josh Hammond (18) on the field during practice for the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field on Monday. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Plus Plant High product Jake Fruhmorgen’s journey from Clemson to UF to Baylor to the East-West Shrine Game.
  7. From left, Florida's Andrew Nembhard, Kerry Blackshear and Noah Locke are key parts of a team that has had its ups and downs this season. Tuesday's rout of Mississippi gets the Gators back on track. [WILFREDO LEE  |  AP]
    UF rebounds from a bad loss in Missouri with a big home victory.
  8. Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) gets emotional after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against Miami in the season opener. [ALLIE GOULDING  |  Times]
    The Florida Gators finished about where I thought. But about Willie Taggart’s job security ...
  9. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow holds the trophy after their win against Clemson in a NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, in New Orleans. LSU won 42-25. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) [DAVID J. PHILLIP  |  AP]
    The Heisman Trophy winner becomes the first Division I-A quarterback to throw 60 touchdowns in a season.
  10. LSU tight end Thaddeus Moss celebrates after scoring during the first half of Monday night's national championship game against Clemson in New Orleans. [DAVID J. PHILLIP  |  AP]
    LSU, of course, finished No. 1. But where did Matt Baker put the Florida Gators and UCF Knights?