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Florida takes down Georgia, 44-28

Kyle Trask’s 474 yards passing lead victory over division rival
Florida tight end Kyle Pitts (84) tires to get past Georgia defensive back Lewis Cine (16)...
Florida tight end Kyle Pitts (84) tires to get past Georgia defensive back Lewis Cine (16) after a reception during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)(John Raoux | AP)
Published: Nov. 7, 2020 at 7:33 PM EST
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)- Eighth-ranked Florida ended its three-year losing streak to rival Georgia Saturday in Jacksonville, thanks to a dominant first half stretch and Kyle Trask’s historic exploits at quarterback.

Trask threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone to lead the Gators out of an early 14-0 hole.  Florida stormed back to lead 38-21 by halftime and cruised to victory over fifth-ranked Georgia, 44-28.  The win gives the 4-1 Gators the lead, plus the tiebreaker over the 4-2 Bulldogs in the SEC East.

Trask, who finished with 474 yards, is now the first SEC quarterback to pass for four touchdowns in five consecutive games.  Florida’s 38 first half points are the most by the Gators in any half against Georgia, and the Gators out-gained the Bulldogs, 411-166 in the half.

But the wheels almost came off for the Gators in the first quarter.

Florida trailed 7-0 just 12 seconds into the game after Zamir White broke free for a 75 yard touchdown run on the first Georgia play from scrimmage.

Down 14-0 only three minutes and 16 seconds into the game, Florida put together a seven-play, 75 yard drive, capped by Trask’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Justin Shorter.

Following a Bulldog punt, Trask drove the Gators 80 yards in 11 plays to tie the game, 14-14.  Dameon Pierce took it in for a two-yard score.

Florida fell behind again early in the second quarter when Trask threw his third interception of the season and Georgia’s Eric Stokes returned it 37 yards for the touchdown.  Georgia led, 21-14 on Stokes' second pick-six of the season.

Florida responded in just 39 seconds.  Trask fired to Nayquan Wright for a gain of 50 and then the senior quarterback found Kyle Pitts for a 25-yard strike to knot the game again at 21.  It was Pitts' eighth touchdown catch of the season, a new single season record for a Florida tight end.

Later in the second quarter, Georgia’s Lewis Cine was ejected for a targeting penalty that also sent Pitts out for the rest of the game.  On the very next snap, Trask threw his third touchdown pass of the half, a 25-yard connection to tight end Kemore Gamble that gave Florida its first lead, 28-21.  A 50-yard field goal by Evan McPherson and yet another Trask TD pass, a 14-yarder to Trevon Grimes, made it a 17-point spread by halftime.

After a shaky start to the game, the Florida defense forced five consecutive Georgia punts spanning the first and second quarters.  Then early in the third quarter, Kaiir Elam picked off Stetson Bennett for the first interception by a Gator defensive back this season.

Florida’s second half scoring was limited to two more Evan McPherson field goals. Defensively, Shawn Davis and Amari Burney picked off D’Wan Mathis passes in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.

Notes:

*Gator running backs combined to catch 10 passes for 221 yards. Malik Davis led the team with 100 yards on five catches.

*UGA out-gained UF on the ground,165-97, marking the first time in 15 years that the winning team had fewer rushing yards in the game.

*Florida returns home to host former Gator quarterback Feleipe Franks and the Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday, Nov. 14 at 7:00.

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