Florida Gators Get First Win Since September After Defeating UAB 36-7 In Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

By  //  November 18, 2017

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Gators improve to 4-6 (3-5)

ABOVE VIDEO: A Gators Win in the Swamp means a happy locker room. See what Coach Shannon had to say to the guys after the game. (Florida Gators video)

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA (Florida Gators) – The Gators rediscovered what a win feels like on Saturday.

Mired in a five-game losing streak and playing at home for the first time in more than a month, Florida (4-6) scored early and often on the way to a 36-7 win over UAB (7-4) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Eddy Pineiro kicked five field goals, quarterback Feleipe Franks passed for a pair of touchdowns and Florida’s defense came away with four turnovers in a dominant victory over the Blazers.

The victory was Florida’s first since defeating Vanderbilt at home in late September and after the final play, those remaining in the stands cheered at the end of a long month for Gators fans.

ABOVE VIDEO: Highlights from the Gators win against UAB.

For more on Saturday’s game, we offer The Quick Slant:

WHAT IT MEANS: More than anything else for the Gators, a sense of relief or satisfaction or whatever you want to call it. They had not won a game since Sept. 30 and had lost two in a row at The Swamp, back-to-back losses to LSU and Texas A&M in October that kicked off their five-game skid. They needed a win and got an easy one against the Blazers, who came in as the trendy pick to knock off the Gators and extend their misery. Instead, Florida jumped to an early lead and when Franks hit C’yontai Lewis for an 11-yard scoring pass in the second quarter to put UF ahead 16-0, the Gators had their biggest lead of the season.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Florida kicker Eddy Pineiro, a fan favorite, has had a rather quiet season. Well, at least until Saturday. Pineiro kicked field goals of 39, 26, 50, 50 and 42 yards to help the Gators breeze past UAB. Pineiro became the first kicker in UF history to kick two field goals of 50 or more yards in the same game. He did not have an attempt this season from 50 yards or beyond prior to Saturday.

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STAGGERING STATISTIC: UAB freshman running back Spencer Brown entered the game with three consecutive 100-yard performances and 1,177 yards on the season, second in the country among freshmen. A week after South Carolina shredded UF’s defense for 220 yards rushing, the Gators clamped down and limited Brown to just 17 yards on eight carries.

SUBPLOT: The last time the Gators played at home, a 19-17 loss to Texas A&M, Jim McElwain was the head coach and they had visions of a possible third consecutive SEC East title. Much has changed. They took the field Saturday with Randy Shannon in charge and ensured of their second losing season in the last five years. Florida’s dominant win delivered Shannon his first win in three games as the team’s interim head coach and gave fans something to smile about for a change as they filed out of The Swamp.

UP NEXT: The Gators cap their season at home against Florida State next weekend in forgettable campaigns for both programs. The Seminoles, also 4-6, blew away Delaware State on Saturday in Tallahassee, 77-6. FSU has won four consecutive games in the series and six of the last seven.