Florida teams clobbered in college football

by Gary Shelton on October 11, 2020

in general

Sunday, 4 a.m.

A question: Did the college football teams in Florida forget how to play the game?

Another question: Does social distancing mean the teams don't attend defensive meetings?

Saturday was one of the worst days in memory for the state's college football teams. Florida was upset by a late comeback and lost to Texas A&M, 41-38. Miami, playing against Clemson, was stuffed 42-17. FSU was clobbered by Notre Dame 42-26. And USF lost to East Carolina, of all teams, by 44-24.

Can you say "ouch?"

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In all, the four teams gave up 169 points and 2,078 yards in their four losses.

The Gators, ranked fourth in the nation, were good enough to win on offense, but their defense was gashed all day by the Aggies.

USF gave up 52 points to Notre Dame and 28 to Cincinnati, but both of those teams were ranked. East Carolina was supposed to be a game against-a-team-its own size opponent, but the Pirates scored 31 points in the first half.

FSU simply couldn't run with Notre Dame. Notre Dame scored touchdowns on five of its eight drives in the first half, and the Irish would go on to rack up more than 550 yards of offense. 

"We have to continue to work," said FSU coach Mike Norvell. "We don't do things for moral victories."

Clemson 42 , Miami 17: The Hurricanes entered the game 3-0 and were coming off a lopsided win over FSU. But they barely competed against the Tigers, who showed them why they are No. 1.

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns. Travis Etienne rushed for 149 yards.

Miami quarterback D'Eriq King hit just 12 of 28 passes for 121 yards against Clemson.

Miami has lost its last three games to Clemson by a combined 138-20.

Texas A&M 41, Florida 38: All that stuff you've read about the University of Florida being ready to make a run at the SEC East title?

Never mind.

The Gators, ranked fourth in the nation coming into the weekend, were bopped on the nose by Texas A&M, who came back in the final five minutes to win 41-38. The Gators gave up 312 yards passing, and Texas A&M converted seven of 10 on third and fourth downs.

"We're going to re-evaluate a lot of things defensively," Florida coach Dan Mullen said. "We're going to evaluate some things with our personnel, where we're at. Our ability to make plays, make sure we have all the night guys at the right position to put us in position to be able to make the plays we need to to get off the field."

The Gators seemed to have enough offense to win, scoring on six of their eight drives. But A&M quarterback Kellen Mood hit 25 of 35 passes for 338 yards. Running back Isaiah Spiller had 174 more yards on the ground. Caleb Chapman caught nine passes for 151 yards.

For Florida, quarterback Kyle Trask threw for 312 yards.

“We had plenty of opportunities to put the game away,” quarterback Kyle Trask said. “So you can’t blame it all on one play because it shouldn’t even been close if we would have executed on the drives that we didn’t score on.”

For Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher, it was his first victory over a top five opponent.

The Gators are home against LSU -- which also suffered an upset loss in its game against Missouri - next Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Notre Dame 42, FSU 26: The Seminoles got off to a good start, leading 17-14 after one period. But they couldn't keep up with the Irish, a team that believes its underrated in the polls at No. 5.

The Fighting Irish led 35-30 at the half.

Notre Dame did most of its damage on the ground, as Kyren Williams ran for 185 years and Chris Tyree for 103.

FSU fell to 1-4 on the season.

East Carolina 44, USF 24: After playing Notre Dame and Cincinnati back-to-back, the Bulls hoped to get a win against East Carolina. Instead, USF fell to East Carolina by 20 points.

Despite 298 passing yards by Jordan McCloud (26 of 35), USF was walloped from the start, trailing 31-17 at the half.

“I’m obviously very disappointed with our execution really in all three phases," said USF coach Jeff Scott. "I was pleased with the way we practiced this week, with the effort, with the attitude. That’s probably the most frustrating part right now is we’re just not translating it to the game. But hey, we’re still early in the process.

"We knew that it was gonna be a process. We knew there was gonna be a lot of adversity, so my message to the guys in the locker room is, ‘Don’t change. We gotta do what we’re doing better than we have. We gotta execute better. You can’t make the mistakes we made tonight and beat anybody.’ But our guys have not given up. Our guys have not stopped believing in each other and they haven’t stopped giving effort. That’s really the main things I’ve been focused on. I think we gotta coach better and we gotta play better – bottom line. And that will come with time. I firmly believe that our better days are ahead of us. I believe in the players that are in that locker room. I don’t understand quite why we haven’t played better than we have, but that’s my job to get it fixed and we’re gonna work on that starting tomorrow.”

USF plays at Tample Saturday at noon.

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