Gainesville, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Despite throwing the ball only three times and not completing a pass, four-touchdown underdog Georgia Southern from FCS shocked the struggling Florida Gators, 26-20, on Saturday afternoon.
Georgia Southern and its triple option rushed for 429 yards to hand the Gators a sixth consecutive loss and eliminate Florida (4-7) from becoming bowl- eligible. The Gators solidified their first losing season since 1979, while Georgia Southern snapped a 20-game skid against FBS teams.
"We didn't play an absolutely perfect game. we made some errors," commented Georgia Southern coach Jeff Monken. "We put ourselves in some bad situations. We had some blunders, but we were still able to win a football game."
Jerick McKinnon had 125 yards and a touchdown on the ground for the Eagles (7-4), while quarterback Kevin Ellison carried the ball 15 times for 118 yards and two scores. William Banks tallied 94 yards rushing and a TD.
Skyler Mornhinweg went 14-for-24 for 115 yards and two touchdowns for the Gators, but the Eagles rallied to score the next 20 points after his first scoring strike gave Florida a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter.
The Gators eventually tied the game on Mornhinweg's 46-yard TD pass to Solomon Patton with 5:41 remaining, but the Eagles got a key 53-yard run from Banks on the ensuing drive.
McKinnon finished the march with a 14-yard TD run with 2:57 left. The extra point failed, but the Eagles held on when Mornhinweg's pass on 4th-and-3 fell incomplete on the final play.
"That's what they do. They bleed you to death," stated Florida coach Will Muschamp of Georgia Southern. "You have to stay away from big plays."
Before this loss, the Gators were 15-0 against FCS teams since the division formed in 1978.