I wasn’t going to go. I almost didn’t.
The Florida Gators had barely won their last three games against opponents that the powerhouse team was used to demolishing – well, until the last two years anyways. Though the Gators had finally been recognized as the No. 25 team in the nation, it was supposed to be a short-lived fantasy, a satisfying taste of victory for just a moment. It most certainly wasn’t going to last, right?
After all, the Gators were facing an Ole Miss team that had just upended SEC juggernaut Alabama to climb to No. 3 in the national poll.
Someone forgot to tell the home team that. I almost missed it.
The crowd was defeaning. In fact, the entire atmosphere at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday night was purely electric. Because amidst the famous game-day chants, the semi-drunken yells, and the constant roar of applause, the Gators were upsetting the Rebels in spectacular fashion.
And somewhere, Tim Tebow was smiling.
The pre-game storyline was nowhere near the storybook ending. Reports of the entire locker room being struck with the flu virus became uneasy signs. In fact, Will Grier was the most prominent name that was said to have still been affected leading into the weekend.
If he was, he didn’t let on. Grier finished the game 24-for-29 passing. He also tossed four touchdowns in Florida’s win. It was the first game this season – and really in recent memory – where both sides of the ball were clicking on all cylinders.
The defense was its normal self and more, forcing four turnovers from a normally-prolific Rebels offense. In addition, Ole Miss was blanked the first half. They scored a field goal on their opening drive in the second half, and their lone touchdown of the game came with about four minutes left in the game.
Oh, and Kelvin Taylor was pretty solid too. The premier running back for the Gators ran for 83 yards on 27 carries. Even if the stat-line doesn’t stand out, he was key in a diversified attack from Florida.
The final was 38-10. For the Gators, the win was exactly as dominant as the scoreboard told us.