Gillislee leads Gators to 20-17 win over A&M
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — No. 24 Florida had never won a game under coach Will Muschamp after trailing at halftime entering Saturday's game against Texas A&M.
Looks as if things are going to be different this year.
Mike Gillislee ran for 83 yards and two touchdowns and the Gators shut down Texas A&M's offense in the second half in a 20-17 win in the Aggies' first Southeastern Conference game after moving from the Big 12.
The Gators entered the game 0-5 when trailing at halftime with Muschamp in charge. Muschamp talked to his team about this being a statement win for Florida.
"I told our team I'm not big on those sort of things, but with all of our hospitality in the SEC, we're trying to make everybody happy and everybody wanted the glory story here with A&M, and they didn't get it," Muschamp said.
Florida trailed 17-10 at halftime after a first half in which Texas A&M's offense under new coach Kevin Sumlin pretty much did what it wanted. Things changed in the second half as the Gators clamped down and forced punts each of A&M's six possessions after the break.
"In the second half we just played more disciplined football," Muschamp said.
Sumlin, the former Houston coach, was disappointed the Aggies continued a trend from last year of entering the second half with a lead, only to lose.
"It's something we addressed," he said. "It's the elephant in the room."
Caleb Sturgis helped Florida cut A&M's lead to 17-13 with a 25-yard field goal early in the third quarter.
Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel looked indecisive most of the day and was sacked eight times. But he made a play when he had to, finding Omarius Hines on a 39-yard completion to propel a drive early in the fourth quarter.
Gillislee finished it off, evading a couple of defenders and then tight-roping the sideline on a 12-yard touchdown run to put Florida up 20-17. Gillislee had a 4 yard score in the first quarter.
Driskel also came up big late in the game with a 21-yard run to give the Gators a first down and allow them to run out the clock.
"We were really composed in here," Driskel said of the mood at halftime. "No one was pointing fingers at each other. We just came in and got the things we needed corrected corrected. We knew there was a whole other half to play."
Muschamp said there was a simple change in his team after halftime.
"We did a better job in the second half of controlling the line of scrimmage," he said. "That was the difference. There was no magic potion."
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