Following two months of close calls, humiliations, their head coach getting fired, and rumors swirling about who the replacement would be, the Gators got to play a football game on cruise control.
And they enjoyed every minute of it.
Thanks to five field goals from Eddy Pineiro, a touchdown catch from each of Florida’s two tight ends and a nifty 15 yard touchdown run from LaMical Perine, the Gators snapped a five game losing streak by hammering UAB, 36-7. The win puts Florida at 3-0 all time against the Blazers, and more importantly, breathes some life into the Gators’ bowl chances. Florida needs to beat FSU next week to at least have a chance to reach the postseason at 5-6 on the back of a strong 980 APR score.
Florida almost had its second shutout of the Blazers in as many games, too. The Gators blanked UAB 39-0 in their last meeting in 2011, and had a shutout going until a busted coverage led to a 74 yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
For all intents and purposes, this season is a lost one. But by beating the Blazers, Florida salvaged the tiniest amount of pride from a season that most will remember fondly for the miracle finish against Tennessee and literally nothing else. If you’re one of those who’s into debasing the program by pitting its worst moments against each other, this win over UAB eliminated your ability at drama and labeling this team worse than the miserable 4-8 team Will Muschamp mismanaged in 2013. And unfortunately, that’s where the positive spins end.
That is, of course, all true unless Florida manages to spring an “upset” over an FSU team that has at times looked even worse than the Gators have this season yet enters the week a 4.5 point favorite. The Gators do have one final opportunity to make something positive out of a truly dreadful season, and that alone should be enough to make them do all in their power in order to achieve that.