TAMPA — If you’re wanting for the perfect gift for that Florida admirer on your Christmas record, here’s a suggestion. Go to that person’s home and unplug the Wi-Fi.
That gift not only will occur in under finances, it will retain your Gator supporter off the world-wide-web. That is the past put they’ll want to undertaking soon after Thursday night.
Social media will be dripping in gold-and-black gloating after UCF turned the Gasparilla Bowl into the We Defeat the Gators Bowl. It will be the digital continuation of a put up-recreation scene a large amount of Florida enthusiasts never ever considered they’d see.
As Knights fans danced in the stands and chanted “UCF! UCF! UCF!” players joyfully elevated a bowl trophy. It was engraved “Gasparilla Bowl,” but it will symbolize a great deal much more to the Knights.
Recall all people billboards they place up about the condition proclaiming the potential of university football is in Orlando? UCF supporters can now say the long term is now.
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“That’s not just discuss,” Gus Malzahn reported. “That’s seriously going to occur.”
To which Florida lovers will go, “meh.”
They will say the activity — heck, the whole year — deserves a Dan Mullen asterisk. The Gators ended up coached by a skeleton personnel of interim coaches. Three defensive starters experienced opted out of the celebration at Raymond James Stadium.
Emory Jones, passing activity out of sync
Florida experienced one particular healthful quarterback, and it was Emory Jones. He didn’t go on 1 of his interception binges, but the passing match hardly ever seemed so out of sync.
All that was accurate. The Gators had been in a condition of bewildered flux. Staying the flagship institute of higher understanding and football in our state, they ended up in a nothing at all-to-earn/everything-to-reduce situation versus a faculty as soon as recognised as Florida Technological College.
UCF has had injuries and woes this season, even though it is harmless to say Malzahn was in a far better coaching posture Thursday evening than Greg Knox. And to paraphrase former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, “You go to war with the army you have, not the military and coaches and QB you could desire to have at a later on time.”
The army Florida experienced Thursday night executed as well a great deal like the one particular that went 6-6 in the typical time. It was far way too sloppy, inconsistent and undisciplined to beat even the third-position staff in the American Athletic Meeting.
“All of it came into enjoy,” Knox explained. “You just can’t get ball video games when you make that quantity of mistakes.”
The blunders crystallized in a third-quarter sequence. Florida took a 17-16 guide and acquired to kick off from the 50 thanks to a own foul penalty. Chris Howard drilled an on-sides kickoff at a UCF player and the ball bounced back toward a horde of Gators.
Penalties insert up for Gators
3 players had a shot at recovering the ball, but none did. On UCF’s initial perform, Gervon Dexter was referred to as for a own foul. Two performs afterwards, Brenton Cox Jr. was flagged for roughing the passer. Boosted by 30 free yards of penalties, the Knights obtained a go-in advance discipline purpose and never ever trailed.
These kinds of dysfunction was nothing at all new. Neither was the put up-match rationalization.
“You go back again and glimpse at issues — why does this continue to happen,” Knox claimed, “and attempt to tweak it and make it function to get rid of people types of problems.”
It did not make any difference if it was Knox or Mullen or Todd Grantham or Christian Robinson accomplishing the tweaking this year. It in no way took. It was the Gators’ fourth straight game with at minimum 80 yards of penalties.
The finish was frustratingly fitting. A mini-brawl broke out as the groups were shaking arms and milling around. It is unclear how it started off or who was to blame, but it was not the sort of the issue that typically takes place in a bowl match.
Of program, it was not just a further bowl video game as much as UCF was involved.
“We’re just getting started off,” Malzahn explained. “The best is but to come.”
To which Florida supporters would say, “We’re just getting issues ended. The best is but to come.”
Billy Napier on the sidelines
They’d glance to the man on the sideline Thursday evening carrying a gentle-blue accommodate. Billy Napier noticed the motion and experienced to come absent unimpressed. He supplied a brief comment in the course of a Tv interview.
“We’ve obtained an extraordinary challenge in entrance of us,” Napier claimed. “But we’re fired up.”
By the time these teams meet all over again in 2024, we’ll have a a great deal greater concept where by the future of college football truly is in Florida. One certainty is the current of higher education football is not in Gainesville.
Other than Miami and FSU, the very last in-state university to beat Florida was Stetson — in 1938.
“I assume the fellas that are listed here will have a better yr up coming 12 months,” Malik Davis said, “and modify things all around.”
As for this time, the finest detail UF followers can say about is it is about. But soon after Thursday night, UCF lovers may under no circumstances enable them hear the conclusion of it.
— David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun’s sporting activities columnist. Make contact with him at [email protected] And adhere to him on Twitter: @DavidEWhitley