ULL's upset bid over Florida blocked in final seconds
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Louisiana-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth wanted his players to watch No. 7 Florida's wild, postgame celebration.
Not so they would remember the gut-wrenching feeling of the meltdown.
But so they would realize how close they came to pulling off one the biggest upset in the history of both programs.
"Anytime you see the seventh-ranked team in the country storm the field like they won the Super Bowl to beat you, you know you're doing some good things," Hudspeth said.
The Gators (9-1) scored twice in the final 2 minutes, including once on a blocked punt as the final seconds ticked off the clock, to beat Louisiana-Lafayette 27-20 on Saturday.
The Rajin' Cajuns (5-4) were 27-point underdogs, were paid $950,000 to be Florida's homecoming opponent and hadn't beaten a ranked team in 16 years.
None of that mattered at Florida Field, where ULL played smart and waited for the Gators to self-destruct.
It worked perfectly — at least until that frantic finish.
Florida did little on offense most of the day and looked to be in serious trouble when quarterback Jeff Driskel left the game with a sprained right ankle.
Louisiana-Lafayette led 17-13 in the third quarter after Alonzo Harris' 2-yard run and a blocked punt for a touchdown on the ensuing drive. Brett Baer's 22-yard field goal — considered a huge stand for Florida's defense — made it 20-13 early in the fourth.
But backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett rallied the Gators. After a shaky start that included two sacks and a near interception in his first four throws, Brissett found tight end Jordan Reed down the middle for a 39-yard gain and then hit Quinton Dunbar for 3-yard score with 1:42 remaining.
ULL was content to run out the clock and play for overtime.
Loucheiz Purifoy had other thoughts. One of Florida's fastest players, Purifoy sprinted off the edge and got his right hand on Baer's punt with about 7 seconds left. Jenkins picked up the deflection and went untouched the other way.
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