The Florida Gators (4-7, 3-5 SEC) lost their sixth straight game Saturday, 26-20 to the Georgia Southern Eagles (7-4, 4-4 SoCon), of the FCS. It is without a doubt the most embarrassing loss in school history.
Florida came out with a similar game plan they had from the week before against the South Carolina Gamecocks, running the ball early and often. However, it was the Eagles, not the Gators, that found success on the ground.
Behind their triple-option attack, the Eagles racked up 429 yards rushing and did not complete a single pass en route to its victory over the Gators. Kevin Ellison rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns, and Jerick McKinnon sealed the game with a late fourth quarter touchdown run of his own with just under three minutes to play, making it 26-20.
Florida still had a chance to win, due in large part to two missed extra points.
Skyler Mornhinweg, making his second straight start in place of Tyler Murphy, got the Gators within striking distance, but it was not meant to be. After two straight incompletions from the Georgia Southern 17-yard-line, the game was over.
Florida will wrap up its season next week, with a visit from the Florida State Seminoles. But, there are bigger issues surrounding this team than next week’s game.
It will be interesting to see if Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley issues another “vote of confidence” statement in defense of his head coach. Simply put, it is getting harder and harder to defend Will Muschamp. This loss is inexcusable. Yes, the team had been decimated by injuries, but is that really an excuse against an FCS-level opponent, and an average one at that. Injuries or not, the Gators should have enough talent on the roster to roll over a team like Georgia Southern.
No matter what happens with Muschamp (and it appears he will return next season), this offseason is sure to bring about some major changes for the Gators.
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