GAINESVILLE, Fla. — In front of a record-setting crowd of 90,833 fans at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, the Florida Gators defeated the Miami Hurricanes 26-3, for the first time in 23 years.
“It was an exciting game against Florida,” Head Coach Randy Shannon said. “I’m proud of these guys. We didn’t quit. We had a shot in the fourth quarter. That’s all we want on the road against a No. 5 team. It just got away from us.”
As the fourth quarter started, Florida had only a 9-3 lead but scored the game’s final 17 points to put away any chance of a comeback from the Canes.
Heisman winner Tim Tebow was 21-35 for 256 yards and two touchdowns. He also accounted for 55 rushing yards on 13 carries.
“We got momentum going into the fourth quarter,” Tebow said. “Momentum is everything.
It was a tough night for redshirt quarterback Robert Marve, who was making his first collegiate start.
Marve wasn’t able to move or get the Canes into the end zone and finished the game 10 for 18 for 69 yards.
“I’m just trying to make plays for my team,” Marve said. “All the credit goes to the Gators.”
The offense couldn’t get the running game going. Running back Javarris James injured his leg in the first quarter. Graig Cooper got the bulk of the carries rushing for 36 yards on 15 carries. Still, the Hurricanes were in the game going into the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t finish,” Cooper said. “Florida did a good job finishing. We live; we learn.”
Miami’s three points were the fewest they have scored against the Gators since Florida’s 28-3 victory over Miami in 1983. That team went 11-1 and claimed Miami’s first national championship.
Shannon still believes this team has high hopes, despite the loss against Florida.
“This is just one game,” Shannon said. “We have ten more to go. We had a shot tonight. That’s all we wanted.”