Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) - The Florida Gators lost quarterback Jeff
Driskel to an ankle injury.
But thanks to a pair of scores in the final 1:42, they didn't lose the game.
Jelani Jenkins returned a blocked punt 36 yards for a touchdown with two
seconds remaining, and the seventh-ranked Gators escaped with a 27-20 win over
the visiting Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns.
Jacoby Brissett, who came on in relief of Driskel, threw a 3-yard touchdown
pass to Quinton Dunbar to tie the game.
Florida's defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing drive, calling a
timeout to force a Louisiana punt with 13 seconds to go. Loucheiz Purifoy
blocked the punt and the ball landed in the arms of Jenkins, who raced to the
The Gators may be celebrating again later Saturday. If Auburn were to upset
Georgia, Florida will clinch the SEC East and book a spot in the league title
Louisiana scored 17 straight points after Florida (9-1) had taken a 13-3 lead
early in the second half.
After Caleb Sturgis kicked a 21-yard field goal, the Ragin' Cajuns (5-4)
responded with a nine-play, 77-yard trek that culminated in a two-yard TD run
by Alonzo Harris.
Driskel was injured on the next Florida drive, limping off the field after
being tackled for no gain on a second-down run. It got worse for the Gators
after Brissett threw a 1-yard screen pass to Mike Gillislee.
Louisiana's Bradley Brown blocked a Kyle Christy punt and Blake Comminie
returned it 22 yards for the go-ahead score. Brett Baer kicked a 22-yard field
goal in the early moments of the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 20-13.
With time becoming an enemy, Brissett engineered a game-tying drive. Facing a
3rd-and-3 from the Louisiana 42, Brissett found Jordan Reed for 39 yards on a
downfield strike that preceded Dunbar's grab.
The Ragin' Cajuns turned the ball over on the game's opening drive as Sharrif
Floyd forced a fumble after 6-yard reception by Harry Peoples. Jon Bostic made
the recovery at the Louisiana 28 and despite the favorable field position,
Florida failed to move the chains and settled for a 38-yard Sturgis field
Later in the first quarter, Louisiana quarterback Terrance Broadway found
Darryl Surgent for a 48-yard catch-and-run, setting up a 49-yard field goal by
The Gators' offense struggled to consistently move the ball until finally
gaining traction late in the opening half. Driskel ran for gains of 10 and 22
yards before Omarius Hines took a screen pass into Louisiana territory.
Driskel then found Reed for 30 yards on a post pattern, setting up Trey
Burton's short touchdown reception with seven seconds remaining.
Florida fed off the momentum of the late score as Hines opened the second half
with a 32-yard run. A face mask penalty was tacked on at the end of the play,
placing the ball at Louisiana 29. Driskel then set up a 1st-and-goal with a
24-yard run, but the Gators couldn't reach the end zone and Sturgis connected
on a field goal to make it a 10-point game.
Driskel completed 13-of-16 passes for 98 yards and rushed for 76 yards on 12
carries ... Broadway had 171 yards on 16-of-23 efficiency ... The game
featured 15 punts, including eight by Florida ... The Gators and Ragin' Cajuns
met for the first time since 1996.
The Sports Network