Florida 32, North Texas 0, Instant Analysis: Gators blank UNT but lose Del Rio

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It was over when: Mark Thompson hurdled into the end zone in the fourth quarter on a 20 yard run and it was clear North Texas had no answers.

Game ball goes to: Anybody on the Florida defense. My personal choice is Caleb Brantley, who recorded a safety by sacking Mason Fine in the end zone to start the defensive onslaught.

Stat of the game: 53. The Gators held UNT to 53 yards of total offense, the fewest Florida has allowed in school history.

What to like: The Gators’ defense looked more than ready for the showdown against Tennessee next week, sacking UNT quarterback Mason Fine six times, picking him off once and holding the Mean Green to 2-13 on third downs. On the other side of the ball, Florida’s offensive line seemed to take a step forward, blocking well enough for four Gator tailbacks to amass 255 yards on the ground.

What to work on: Florida lost QB Luke Del Rio for next week’s game against Tennessee, and maybe more, on a cheap late hit from UNT’s Joshua Wheeler. So it’s going to be up to Austin Appleby to grow all he can this week in practice in order to be ready to go. The Gators also failed to convert a pair of fourth downs in the red zone, and opted to kick a field goal on a third trip inside the 10. And the Gators were penalized an eye popping eleven times on the night.

Offensive grade: C-. The offense turned it on at the end, but picking up three points on three trips to the red zone isn’t going to cut it next week and beyond. Don’t be fooled by the 32 points or 471 yards the Gators finished with, as this game was more of a replay of UMass than anything: a vanilla offense that did the least it had to to win.

Defensive grade: A+. The 53 yards Florida held UNT to was the fewest yards UF has ever allowed in its history. Florida first started its football program in 1906. The Gators’ front seven made toast of the North Texas o-line, never allowed Fine any time to think let alone throw, and drove the Mean Green backwards more often than not.

Special teams grade: B. Pineiro made the only field goal he attempted. Nothing to see here.

Bottom line: We’ll know more about Del Rio soon, but for now, we know he isn’t going to play against Tennessee barring a miracle. Despite not having him available, though, Florida still looks capable of beating the Vols if Austin Appleby can play smart football. The Gators are equipped with the defense to shut down Josh Dobbs, and if the offensive line can get just a little bit better, may be able to block for another huge rushing performance.

Scoring recap:

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
NORTH TEXAS 0 0 0 0 0
(23) FLORIDA 5 14 0 13 32

Scoring plays:

Team Time Play UNT FLA
FLORIDA 1st 13:04 Caleb Brantley sack of Mason Fine in end zone 0 2
FLORIDA 1st 8:09 Eddy Pineiro 22 yd FG 0 5
FLORIDA 2nd 12:32 Jordan Cronkrite 6 yd run (PAT good) 0 12
FLORIDA 2nd 3:00 LaMical Perine 2 yd run (PAT good) 0 19
FLORIDA 4th 13:46 Mark Thompson 20 yd run (2 pt conv failed) 0 25
FLORIDA 4th 7:15 Jordan Scarlett 1 yd run (PAT good) 0 32
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