Defense, 5 Pineiro FGs lead Florida over UAB 36-7
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Eddy Pineiro kicked five field goals and Florida used a stifling defense to overwhelm UAB 36-7 on Saturday.
The Gators (4-6) ended a five-game losing streak with a strong second half when they gained 228 of their 409 total yards. Florida accumulated 257 yards on the ground with three players - Adarius Lemons (89 yards), Lamical Perine (86) and Mark Thompson (78) accounting for most of the yards.
“Our running game really kicked in tonight. The running backs and offensive line really did a tremendous job of running the ball and getting big plays and putting us in situations to get touchdowns,” Florida interim coach Randy Shannon said.
Pineiro connected on all five of his field-goal attempts, connecting from 39, 26, 50, 50 and 42 yards. He became the first player in Florida history to make two field goals from 50 yards or longer in a game.
“The first 50-yarder I hit it didn’t come clean off my foot, but the second 50-yarder I put some juice on that kick. It felt good,” Pineiro said.
Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks passed for 152 yards and had touchdown passes to C’yontai Lewis (11 yards) and DeAndre Goolsby (13 yards).
“The line did a really great job tonight and gave me the time to throw,” Franks said. “Game to game, I’m feeling more comfortable.”
Florida held the Blazers to 180 yards, including just 3 yards on the ground. UAB (7-4) had just 93 yards in offense through three quarters. But on the first play of the fourth quarter, Blazers quarterback A.J. Erdely connected with Xavier Obosi on a 74-yard scoring play for their only score.
Florida: The Gators won for the first time since Sept. 30 when they beat Vanderbilt 38-24 . Even with a win over Florida State next Saturday in the season finale, the Gators won’t make a bowl game for only the third time in 31 seasons . Florida’s defense recovered two fumbles and had two interceptions while the Gator offense did not have a turnover.
UAB: The Blazers had converted 56.8 percent of their third-down conversions (25 of 44) over their last three games, but managed just one of seven against the Gators . UAB’s three-game winning streak came to an end as the Blazers missed out on an opportunity to record a program record eighth FBS win . Running back Spencer Brown was the nation’s second leading rusher among freshmen but only managed 17 yards in eight carries.
Florida: The Gators host Florida State next Saturday.
UAB: The Blazers host UTEP next Saturday.