This game was originally scheduled on October 8 in Gainesville but all the circumstances of Hurricane Matthew changed things. The Gator players, staff, and administration were called out for cancelling the game back then. Florida head coach Jim McElwain was quite proud of his players overcoming all of the obstacles in this game.
“We played a road game that was supposed to be a home game and won the SEC East,” he said on the SEC Network postgame spot as he was about to bust out crying with emotion. “That’s pretty cool isn’t it?”
“They have some pride and were called out. What was a shame is that people called others out when there is actually tragedy happening. It is unbelievable to me. And you know what. We came on the road and won the game… it’s the way it should be.
McElwain summed up his comments succinctly stating the main goal they had to start the game.
“We came out here and we’re going to Atlanta right?” he posed.
Florida was led by a bend but don’t break defense that stopped the Tigers four times in the red zone for no points. They also were able to run the ball surprisingly effective led by sophomore running back Jordan Scarlett who amassed 108 of the 126 yards the Gators gained on the day.
“I want to give thanks to God, he was able to make me come out here and make these plays,” Scarlett told SEC Network afterward. “Second of all to the offensive line, they did their thing. Some guys that were hurt and banged up so I felt like I needed to do pull my part and do it for them.”
The odds were against the Gators in the game. Literally, they were 14-point underdogs which just never happens to a Gator squad. But, they had a solid week of practice and were extremely focused. They did a lot of really good things.
“We just got to want it,” Scarlett said. “We just told each other we have to play with a purpose, everything had their own set thing to drive them and I think we did a good job and came out victorious.”
Scarlett said the team thrived on the harassment from LSU media, fans, players, and coaches in the last month and a half.
“It’s that they insulted us and what are going to do when someone tries us?” he asked. “Are we going to lie down or smack them back in the mouth? I think we showed exactly what we do when they try us.”
Scarlett was confident in the defense that gave up 426 yards on the day, but just two scores on six tries in the red zone. The defense came up with a goal line stand to end the game.
“I have full faith in them,” he said. “We do goal line every day and know what they can do. Those guys did a great job and I am proud of them.”
As for the win and the first big goal this team tries to achieve every year. They will be playing for the SEC Championship in Atlanta in two weeks.
“It feels great, we just have to get prepared and ready, Alabama here we come,” Scarlett said.