Gators end five-game skid with 36-7 win over UAB
Florida's defense was locked in during its 36-7 win over University of Alabama-Birmingham, and the offense contributed as well with 409 yards of total offense. The Gators kept their defense off the field longer than usual with 42:04 minutes in time of possession compared to UAB's 17:52 minutes.
"That's one of our goals," quarterback Feleipe Franks said. "Fight all four quarters and just keeping running. [The defense] is going to get tired, that's two big running backs running the ball."
Florida's leader in yards rushing was Adarius Lemons who had a breakout night. Lemons managed a career-high 89 yards on 11 carries. Next up was Lamical Perine with 86 yards, and Mark Thompson with 78.
It was a big night for Eddy Pineiro who completed five field goals, two of them at least 50 yards.
“I'd rather get seven points than a field goal," redshirt junior kicker Pineiro said. "I hope the team gets a touchdown and keep me off the field.
“I didn’t really feel the fifty yarder it didn’t come off my foot clean, but the second fifty yarder I put some juice on it. It was way better the first one.”
There were a lot of first for the Florida defense that forced turnovers for a total of 17 points. Vosean Joseph and Rayshad Jackson forced the first fumbles of their careers. Shawn Davis recovered one of them for his career's first recovery. Antonneous Clyton recorded his first career sack for a loss of 17 yards.
"Defensively we caused turnovers and got sacks to stop the run game," interim head coach Randy Shannon said. "That was on thing with the biggest emphasis we were going to do because Alabama-Birmingham, when I was in Arkansas in 2014, those were the same guys who played. These veteran guys, we knew they were going to play hard, but as a defense we went out and controlled the football.”
Working on turnovers has been stressed during practice all season long, and defensive lineman Taven Bryan added, "They’ve been really making us focus on turnovers and we practice it, I don’t know, a couple times a week, three or four times. They’ve been on us. People are making less mental mistakes. They got us locked in and they really turned it around, so it’s really good what they’ve been doing and I’m super happy about it. It’s on the up and up.”
Shannon gave an injury update, stating, "We have a couple guys who are nicked up. We don’t know the extent of the injuries at this particular time. We’re going to take a look at them tomorrow. Kadarius Toney, Tyrie Cleveland, Felipe Franks, Jawaan Taylor and Shawn Davis got nicked up over the course of the game."
More information on the status of their injuries will be released in the upcoming days.