College Football

FINAL: Florida 31, South Florida 28

FINAL: Florida 31, South Florida 28



WHAT HAPPENED: USF kicker Spencer Shrader missed a 49-yard field goal with 23 seconds left and the 18th-ranked Gators got out of Spurrier/Florida Field with a victory in a game Saturday night that easily could have gone the mega-underdog Bulls’ way. The snap on the game-tying kick attempt from Bryce Bernard was just fine, but holder Andrew Beardall fumbled the exchange and Shrader didn’t get a clean swing at the ball, which was wide to the right and short. It was the second fortuitous snap for Florida in three plays. Two snaps earlier, USF was at the UF 18 with 44 seconds to go — with a chance to win the game with a touchdown — but Bulls center Brad Cecil grounded a snap past quarterback Gerry Bohanon for a 14-yard loss that, eventually, made Shrader’s field goal all the longer, all the more difficult. Florida survived despite two second-half interceptions by sophomore quarterback Anthony Richardson, the first leading to a South Florida touchdown (and two-point conversion) that cut the Gators’ lead to just three, and the second coming on a throw into the end zone on a first-and-goal from the USF 5 and the home team trailing 28-24. The Bulls, though, gave the ball right back when Bohanon overthrew his intended receiver and defensive back Tre’Vez Johnson made a diving interception at the USF 28. Four Travis Entienne runs later the Gators were in the end zone and leading 31-28 with 5:05 to play, setting up the final frantic drive. The Bulls came as 24-point underdogs and with just one win over an FBS team in 21 tries the last three seasons. They left having out-gained the Gators in total offense 402 yards to 329, including 286 on the ground, led by tailback Brian Battie’s 17 carries, 150 yards and one score, plus another 102 on 15 carries and a score from Bohanon. Richardson had a second straight uneven game, finishing 10 of 18 for 112 yards, no touchdowns and the two interceptions, and only rushed seven times for 24 yards. UF, though, still ran for 217 yards and three scores, led by sophomore Montrel Johnson’s six carries and 103 yards.  Florida twice trailed in the first half, but rallied back and even opened a 24-10 lead late in the second quarter after sophomore cornerback Jalen Kimber returned a Bohannon interception 39 yards for a score. The Bulls, though, scored the next 18 points, bridging the halves with a Shrader 49-yard field goal with 10 seconds to go and then…

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