Football Bowl Subdivision
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                    === Florida holds off Bowling Green ===
 
 Gainesville,  FL  (Sports  Network)  - Jeff  Driskel  threw  a  fourth-quarter
 touchdown pass, and the 23rd-ranked Florida Gators escaped their season opener
 with a 27-14 win over the Bowling Green Falcons.
 
 Mike Gillislee gained 148 yards on 24 carries and scored two touchdowns in the
 second  quarter for the Gators (1-0), who finished the 2011 season, coach Will
 Muschamp's first in Gainesville, with a 7-6 record.
 
 Driskel had 114 yards on 10-of-16 passing.
 
 Bowling Green's Matt Schilz completed 24-of-49 passes for 204 yards, but threw
 one costly interception with his team in excellent field position.
 
 An Omarius Hines fumble had given the Falcons (0-1), trailing by only three, a
 short  field with  which  to work  late  in the  third  quarter. The  turnover
 occurred  moments  after Bowling Green's  Stephen Stein missed a 29-yard field
 goal.
 
 The  Falcons gave the  ball right back as Marcus Roberson picked off Schilz at
 the  Florida  16-yard line.
 
 "That  should've  been a  catch  and  a conversion,  then  we  keep the  drive
 alive, but we didn't catch the ball and it got batted in the air and they made
 a  nice return on it and obviously that was a huge game changer," said Bowling
 Green coach Dave Clawson.
 
 On  the third  play of  the ensuing  drive, Driskel  threw a  pass to  Frankie
 Hammond that transformed into a 50-yard touchdown.
 
 "We  were just looking to get the sticks," Driskel said. "We wanted to pick up
 the  first down so  I just wanted to give (Hammond) the ball and one-on-one he
 made a good move. That was all him."
 
 Caleb  Sturgis then drilled a 51-yard field goal to give the Gators a 13-point
 advantage.
 
 The  Falcons opened  the scoring on their second possession of the game. After
 converting  a pair of  third downs, Chris Gallon caught a pass from Schilz and
 slipped  a tackle to  set up a 1st-and-goal at the Florida 2-yard line. On the
 next  play, the  12th  of a  drive  that  began at  Bowling  Green's 11,  John
 Pettigrew  took  a handoff up the  middle and a strong second effort propelled
 him  across the  goal line for the  touchdown with 1:17 remaining in the first
 quarter.
 
 Florida  immediately responded with a 13-play scoring drive, tying the game on
 Gillislee's  15-yard  dash to end zone.  The touchdown came one play after the
 Gators had converted a 4th-and-1.
 
 Later  in the second quarter, the Gators started a series inside Bowling Green
 territory  after  a 16-yard  punt. On  the first play  of the drive, Gillislee
 shifted to the outside and scampered down the far sideline for a 38-yard TD.
 
 Florida took the 14-7 lead into the break after Stein missed a 31-yard attempt
 on the half's final play.
 
 The  Gators turned the ball over on downs at the Bowling Green 45 to begin the
 third  quarter.  The Falcons gained  only five  yards before the special teams
 unit took the field, but the visitors ran a fake as punter Brian Schmiedebusch
 rumbled  for  the first down  before he was levied  out of bounds by Florida's
 Andre Debose.
 
 The  late hit gave  Bowling Green the ball at the Florida 27-yard line. Schilz
 moved the chains with an 8-yard pass to Shaun Joplin on third down, and Anthon
 Samuel tied the game with a 12-yard TD run.
 
 Schmiedebusch  then picked  an inopportune time to shank another punt. Florida
 took  over inside  the Bowling Green 20,  but was forced to settle for a field
 goal.  Sturgis kicked a 34-yarder to put the Gators up 17-14 with 6:03 left in
 the third.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 Bowling  Green registered  22 first  downs, eight  more than  Florida ...  The
 Gators were whistled for 14 penalties, totaling 106 yards ... The Falcons went
 5-7  last year  ... Saturday's game marks the first-ever meeting between these
 two programs.
 
 
 
 09/01 22:18:22 ET