Georgia Southern 26, Florida 20: Gators Find Nadir

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The I-AA Eagles from Statesboro went into the Swamp and came out with a win.

A bad season just got that much worse as Florida fell 26-20 to Georgia Southern.

This game was only close because of some generosity by the Eagles early on. A lost fumble led to a 14-yard touchdown drive that allowed Florida to go up 10-0 early in the second quarter. GSU ripped off 20 consecutive points to head into the fourth quarter, and it should have been 21 if not for a missed extra point. Florida got 10 points of its own to tie it up, but the Eagles answered with a touchdown and another missed PAT. It looked as though those two special teams errors would possibly sink GSU, but two Florida passes in and near the end zone fell to the ground incomplete to close out the game.

Georgia Southern only attempted three passes on the day, and none of them were complete. They got all of their yards on the ground, and not counting a fumble by the punter that lost 21 yards, GSU had 440 yards on 53 carries (8.3 YPC). Florida could never quite stop the triple option attack, as it gashed the Gators at times for big gains. The game winning touchdown was notably set up by a 53 yard run. A Gator defense already beset by injuries lost three more players for all or part of the game and was playing a walk on linebacker by the end, and it just could not solve the option attack.

Florida's offense, meanwhile, was about as pathetic as it has ever looked. Redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg was flat awful for three quarters, managing just 14 yards through the air through three quarters. He managed to move it some late, including a 46 yard play action TD pass to tie the game at 20, but it was largely thanks to a softer GSU defense looking to preserve the lead by not giving up big plays. Kelvin Taylor did the most work on the ground, gaining 92 yards on 22 carries (4.2 YPC).

Florida was outgained 429-272 in total and 7.5-4.6 on a per play basis. Winning the turnover battle 2-0 and those missed PATs by GSU are the reason the team even had a shot at the end. Will Muschamp is supposedly safe for another year, but there have to be some kind of staff changes coming.

Florida just lost to a I-AA team. I don't believe my fingers as they type that, but it's true.

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