Gainesville, Fla Kyle Trask threw two first half touchdowns, including a 64-yarder to Freddie Swain on the second play from scrimmage, and Lamical Perine galloped 88 yards for a fourth quarter score as 10th-ranked Florida won a highly-charged matchup of unbeatens against 7th-ranked Auburn, 24-13 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
With the win, the Gators improve to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the SEC.
Perine's 88-yard burst with 9:04 left in regulation gave the Gators some separation on the Tigers and a 24-13 lead that would hold. It is the fifth-longest touchdown run in Gator history, and the longest since Emmitt Smith went 96 yards versus Mississippi State in 1988.
The fact that the Gators were in the game at halftime was remarkable considering all they survived until that point.
Florida lost three fumbles in the first quarter alone, two by Trask and the other by Dameon Pierce, who went to the locker room after a helmet to helmet hit on the play. Trask also left the game briefly after taking a hit on the leg and was replaced by Emory Jones, who completed five of seven passes in relief duty. Nonetheless, Florida led 17-13 at halftime. Both teams committed four turnovers in the game.
Florida's defense held strong throughout the game and made it tough on Auburn freshman quarterback Bo Nix all day. Shawn Davis picked off Nix in the second quarter and returned it 41 yards to set up a 13-yard touchdown pass from Trask to Josh Hammond. Trask finished the game 19 for 31 passing for 234 yards.
Late in the third quarter, Donovan Stiner intercepted Nix in the end zone with the Tigers driving to take the lead. Auburn only managed 204 yards of offense in the first three quarters and Nix finished 11 for 27 passing with three interceptions. He also took a sack for a 22 yard loss with less than 10 minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
A sellout crowd of 90,584 was at full throat all afternoon in what was surely the biggest home game for the Gators all season. Florida heads to LSU next Saturday for another matchup of undefeated teams.