Florida 50, Oklahoma St. 7
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ Shane Matthews passed for 332 yards and one touchdown Saturday as ″Gatorball,″ Steve Spurrier’s entertaining brand of offense, made a successful debut in Florida’s 50-7 season-opening rout of Oklahoma State.
Matthews, a sophomore who began spring practice as the fifth-string quarterback, completed 20 of 29 passes, including a 50-yard scoring toss to Tre Everett, who had five receptions for 128 yards.
Florida’s defense was outstanding, too, forcing three second-half turnovers, blocking a punt and field goal, and scoring a touchdown and safety while holding Oklahoma State (1-1) to 239 yards total offense.
Willie McClendon scored on runs of 1 and 3 yards, and Dexter McNabb capped an impressive game-opening drive with a 3-yard TD burst that set the tone for the afternoon.
Spurrier returned to his alma mater in January after leading Duke to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship last season. He brought along a pro- style passing attack that has excited fans and players accustomed to a run- oriented offense built around Emmitt Smith the past three years.
Matthews opened the game with a 26-yard completion to Ernie Mills, then hit Everett for a 17-yard gain and Mills for a 22-yard pickup on the next two plays. McNabb scored on the fifth play of a 70-yard march.
The Florida offense also put together scoring drives of 83, 64 and 49 yards and Huey Richardson sacked Oklahoma State’s Chris Smith in the end zone for a safety to contribute to a 26-7 halftime lead.
Matthews’ touchdown pass to Everett came on Florida’s second possession in the second half. McClendon’s 3-yard run made it 40-7 late in the third quarter, and Arden Czyzewski kicked a 40-yard field goal and Darren Mickell scored on a 14-yard interception return to finish the Gators’ point production.
Oklahoma State, held to 47 yards net rushing, avoided a shutout with Smith’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Curtis Mayfield in the second period.