Florida Gators

Rapid Recap: Gators demolish Iowa in Outback Bowl

Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire

All season long, the Florida Gators have relied on their defense to carry them. In a Monday January 2nd Outback Bowl, that defense dominated Iowa and led to a 30-3 blowout win.

As we previewed, the Gators are offensively challenged and two picks in the first two possessions by QB Austin Appleby bore that out. Fortunately, Florida has a monster fast/physical defense and it overwhelmed Iowa as the day went on.

First, the Gators did get a big play offensively late in the first half on a screen pass from Appleby to Mark Thompsn who did the rest:

The 85 yard catch and run by Thompson is the longest offensive touchdown play in Outback Bowl history.

Then, Florida’s defense took over squeezing Iowa down. QB C.J. Bethard, nursing a bad right hamstring, was totally ineffective completing just 7-23 for 55 yards and 3 costly INTs. The biggest one coming from freshman Chauncey Gardner Jr. in the fourth quarter to basically ice things:

Florida would tack on two more field goals for the final thumping margin of 30-3.

It’s a nice finish for Florida and second year coach Jim McElwain after having lost at the end of the year to rival FSU and being blasted in the SEC Title Game by Alabama.

Gators finish 9-5 and were SEC East champions for the second straight year. So that and this Outback Bowl beatdown are both obviously something to build on.

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