The Florida Gators pick up their first home win of the season as they defeated the UT Martin Skyhawks 45-0. It was an ugly first quarter but the Gators were able to play much better down the stretch. Quarterback Feleipe Franks was nearly perfect as he looked much better than he did against Miami. The Florida offense had 543 total yards and the defense only gave up 194 total yards of offense. The Gators defensive line was stout once again as they had five sacks and ten tackles for loss on the night. The offensive line had their struggles with run blocking but was able to show some important in the second half. Here is the recap of the Florida Gators win over the UT Martin Skyhawks.
UT Martin Skyhawks
The UT Martin Skyhawks played a good game in the first half but couldn’t keep Florida out of the endzone. John Bachus III made some good plays for the Skyhawks but couldn’t put up any points. Bachus completed 12 out of 19 passes for 101 yards and an interception. Bachus also led UT Martin in rushing as he had nine carries for 48 yards. There wasn’t a lot going on in the receiving game as only two players had solid numbers. Peyton Logan had five receptions for 59 yards including a 34-yard reception. Jeremy Horton had one catch for 29 yards over the middle in the fourth quarter.
On defense, the Skyhawks played well early in the game but couldn’t handle Florida’s offense in the second half. JaQuez Atkins and DaVonte Maura both led in tackles between the two teams. They both had 11 tackles and at least five solo tackles. Sherrod Pittman had seven tackles in the game and also had two quarterback hurries. Julian Crutchfield and Cecil Cherry both combined for the only sack and tackle for loss in the game.
The Florida Gators offense had their struggles but were able to put up points in bunches and got some of their young guys some playing time. Franks was nearly perfect as he completed 25 out of 27 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns. Franks also had six carries for 37 rushing yards. Lamical Perine was the lead back for Florida as he had 10 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown. Malik Davis also had first rushing touchdowns since his freshman season in 2017. Emory Jones also had a rushing touchdown late in the ballgame. Redshirt-senior Van Jefferson led the Gators in receiving with four catches for 94 yards including a 69-yard touchdown reception. Tyrie Cleveland had three catches for 52 yards and a 35-yard receiving TD. Redshirt-freshman wide receiver Jacob Copeland caught his first career touchdown on a nine-yard slant.
The Florida Gators defense came to play as they held UT Martin’s offense under 200 total yards. Safety Shawn Davis led Florida in tackles with six tackles including a tackle for loss. Jabari Zuniga had a great night getting to the quarterback as he had 1.5 sacks on the night. David Reese, Zachary Carter and Tedarrell Slaton all recorded half a sack against UT Martin. Redshirt-sophomore linebacker Lacedrick Brunson had his first career sack and freshman Khris Bogle had a night with five tackles and the first sack of his collegiate career. True freshman cornerback Kaiir Elam had his first career interception. It also Florida’s first interception of the 2019 season. Florida’s defense did suffer an injury to a key player as C.J. Henderson went down with an ankle injury. Florida’s coach, Dan Mullen, believes he has a slight ankle sprain but won’t know for sure until Monday.
The Florida Gators will be back on the road for the first SEC game of the season. The Gators will be heading to Lexington, Kentucky to take on the Kentucky Wildcats. In their last meeting, Kentucky snapped their 31-game losing streak to the Florida Gators. The Wildcats are 2-0 on the season after beating Eastern Michigan 38-17. You can watch this game next Saturday at 7 pm EST on ESPN.