Florida Gators defensive lineman Antonio Valentino (55) congratulates Florida Gators defensive lineman Daquan Newkirk (44) after a big stop during the second game of the season against the USF Bulls at Raymond James Stadium, in Tampa Fla. Sept. 11, 2021.

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No. 13 Florida cruises to win over South Florida

Florida scored touchdowns on five consecutive possessions of Saturday’s game, and coasted to a 42-20 win over host South Florida in Tampa, Fla.

The 13th-ranked Gators (2-0) got results out of their two quarterbacks, Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson. Jones completed 14 of 22 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions, and ran for 81 yards and a score.

Richardson was 3 for 3 for 152 yards and two touchdown passes with an 80-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, totaling 115 yards on the ground to lead the Gators in rushing. His stats might have fueled the idea of a quarterback controversy in Gainesville, which head coach Dan Mullen had refuted earlier in the week.

But Richardson was injured on the long touchdown run, and did not return to the game.

The Gators finished with 666 yards — 363 rushing, 303 passing.

There were big play touchdowns for Florida and five catches for 175 yards from wide receiver Jacob Copeland, but the first Gators touchdown drive was the product of tough running from Dameon Pierce, who had runs of 16, 20 and seven yards on the possession, the last one being for a score.

Jones engineered that drive, then gave way to Richardson. On Richardson’s first pass of the game, he found Copeland over the middle, and Copeland turned the completion into a 75-yard touchdown with 4:34 to play in the quarter.

Florida got the ball back on a turnover on downs, and Jones found Xzavier Henderson for a 35-yard touchdown and a 21-3 lead.

Richardson got his turn, and again connected with Copeland for a 41-yard touchdown pass. Two-plus minutes later, Jones ran in a keeper, electing to fake the pitch and run it up the middle and breaking into the open field for a 33-yard touchdown.

The Bulls (0-2) couldn’t overcome the 32-point deficit they faced before halftime, and made a quarterback change from starter Cade Fortin (91 yards) to Timmy McClain (83) for the second half.

The Bulls gained just 297 yards of total offense, and received two rushing touchdowns for Jaren Mangham.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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