NCAA Game Summary - Mississippi State at Florida|
(Saturday, October 16th)
Final Score: Mississippi State 10, (22) Florida 7
Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) - Chris Relf ran for 82 yards and a
touchdown on 22 carries, but it was Mississippi State's defense that stole the
show, helping the Bulldogs hold off the 22nd-ranked Gators, 10-7, at The
Relf was limited as a passer, completing just 4-of-9 passes for 33 yards. Vick
Ballard added 98 yards on the ground on 20 carries for Mississippi State (5-2,
2-2), which has won four straight games for the first time since 1999, when it
won eight in a row.
"I will tell you, that was a great, great team win by a bunch of young men
that when I came here two years ago, we said 'We are going to give you a plan
for success,'" said Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen, who is a former Florida
offensive coordinator. "Through hard work, we can achieve a lot of things in
life...I have said all week that I have had success in this stadium. This is
not an upset -- our team expected to win this football game."
The Bulldogs' offense was not overly effective, but they never turned the ball
over. Florida, conversely, committed two turnovers, and Chas Henry missed both
of his field goal attempts, including a potential game-tying attempt from 42
yards away with just seconds remaining.
John Brantley completed 24-of-39 passes for 210 yards, but was picked off once
for Florida (4-3, 2-3), which has lost three straight games for the first time
since the end of the 1999 season. Additionally. the Gators lost three straight
in the regular season for the first time since 1988 during a four-game skid.
Omarius Hines ran for 58 yards and a score for the Gators, who lost despite
outgaining the Bulldogs, 361-245.
Florida's last possession began at its own four-yard line with 7:50 to play.
Consecutive completions of nine and 11 yards to Frankie Hammond, Jr. put the
Gators on their own 24, and three straight passes to Carl Moore totaling 29
yards got Florida into Bulldogs territory at the 43.
Faced with 2nd-and-2, Brantley threw two consecutive incompletions, bringing
up fourth down with 39 seconds on the clock and prompting a Mississippi State
timeout. The Gators were able to covert on Trey Burton's short catch-and-run
for 13 yards down to the 30, but a false start penalty pushed them back five
The Gators were able to gain 10 more yards before fourth down came up from the
25 with a few seconds remaining. Henry, replacing the injured Caleb Sturgis,
pushed a 42-yard attempt wide right as the Bulldogs players celebrated.
"We missed a field goal. We had a couple of plays called (to go deep), but
they were dropping eight defenders," said Florida head coach Urban Meyer.
"It's a lack of execution. We're not very good right now."
The first three series of the game didn't see one first down, but Mississippi
State put some points on the board on its second possession.
Relf completed a 30-yard pass to Chad Bumphis to gain the Florida 34, and Relf
scampered 16 yards on the next play. The drive stalled from there, leading to
Sean Brauchle's 31-yard field goal seven minutes into the contest.
Florida drove down to the Bulldogs' 34 on the next possession and went for it
on 4th-and-5, but Brantley was picked off, giving Mississippi State possession
on its own 36.
An 11-play, 64-yard march ensued, culminating in Relf's six-yard run into the
end zone for a 10-0 lead late in the first quarter. The Bulldogs converted a
pair of third downs, including a 3rd-and-2 from the Florida 16 on a LaDarius
Perkins five-yard rush over the right tackle.
The second quarter was a defensive battle. Florida inexplicably went for it on
4th-and-1 from its on 39 in the early moments, and didn't covert. The Gators'
defense, however, forced the Bulldogs to punt from the 37.
Florida had a chance to put points on the board with seven minutes until
halftime, but Henry missed a 38-yard field goal, allowing the Bulldogs to take
a 10-point lead into halftime.
The Gators finally cashed in on their first series of the second half,
traveling 80 yards in 13 plays. Florida decided to run on 3rd-and-7 from its
own 23, but Burton was able to gain 16 yards for the first down. During the
drive, 11 rushes were called, while both pass attempts fell incomplete. Hines
finished it off with a five-yard run into the end zone for a three-point game
with 4:15 left in the third.
The Bulldogs used Florida's strategy of going to the run, and it put them in
good position to extend their lead, but Brauchle missed a 40-yard field goal
with 10:56 left.
Florida lost its homecoming game for the first time since 1988, snapping a 21-
game win streak...The Gators still lead the all-time series,
10/17 00:06:22 ET