Georgia Southern stuns Florida at the Swamp

Georgia Southern 26, Florida 20

Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 5:37 PM
Last updated 10:25 PM
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Kevin Ellison ran for two touchdowns, Jerick McKinnon had a huge score late and Georgia Southern stunned Florida 26-20 on Saturday in what will go down as the worst loss in school history.

Georgia Southern players celebrate on the field after defeating Florida. Georgia Southern won the game 26-20.  ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Georgia Southern players celebrate on the field after defeating Florida. Georgia Southern won the game 26-20.

No lower-division team had ever beaten the Gators, who won their previous seven games against Football Championship Subdivision teams by an average of 45 points.

So this was a shocker, even though Florida (4-7) has lost seven in a row and secured its first losing season since 1979.

Georgia Southern (7-4) ran for 429 yards and didn’t complete a pass all afternoon.

McKinnon finished with 125 yards rushing, including a 14-yard touchdown with 2:57 remaining. Ellison added 118 yards on the ground, scoring on runs of 45 and 1. Fullback William Banks, a former Augusta Christian standout, also gashed the Gators, getting 94 yards up the middle. His 53-yarder on a third-and-2 play set up the winning score.

Florida had a chance to win it, thanks partly to two missed extra points.

Skyler Mornhinweg, making his second consecutive start in place of Tyler Murphy (shoulder), got the Gators in scoring territory, but his final two throws fell incomplete. He had Quinton Dunbar open in the corner of the end zone on third down from the 17, but his pass floated high. He tried to force one to Solomon Patton on the final play, but two defenders broke it up.

Georgia Southern’s players rushed the field and celebrated wildly. They stopped long enough to pose for a team picture on the field, and then the party really started.

Florida, which paid Georgia Southern $550,000 for this game, was left to ponder the fate of coach Will Muschamp.

Athletic director Jeremy Foley and school president Bernie Machen said last week Muschamp was safe, but that was before the worst loss in school history and before there were thousands of no-shows in The Swamp.

The Gators have pinned their problems on a slew of injuries. But that doesn’t work against Georgia Southern, which won its third consecutive game despite playing without 19 of 65 scholarship athletes.

Florida was beaten soundly – on both sides of the ball.

Georgia Southern ran wild from the triple-option formation.

McKinnon gained 66 yards on the first play of the second half, setting up Ellison’s 1-yard plunge on fourth down. The touchdown put the Eagles up 14-10.

And that could have been enough against Florida’s inept offense.

Mornhinweg was mostly ineffective, though he completed 14 of 25 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns. He hooked up with Patton for a 46-yard score with 5:41 left that tied the game at 20.

But Florida’s defense couldn’t get a much-needed stop.

And on the final drive, the Gators started with a crucial penalty and some questionable clock-management issues.

Kelvin Taylor ran for 92 yards behind an offensive line that allowed steady pressure all day. And after Mornhinweg nearly threw two interceptions in the first quarter, the Gators stopped taking chances in the passing game until late.

Equally alarming as Florida’s woeful offense was the team’s defensive effort.

The Eagles gashed the Gators early and often, producing runs of 45, 53 and 66 yards. Eight Georgia Southern players had at least one run of 10 yards or longer.

Comments (16) Add comment
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Riverman1
93323
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Riverman1 11/23/13 - 06:43 pm
6
0
This is the best win for a

This is the best win for a Georgia team that I can remember ever. For those who made light of the Eagles moving up to FBS what do you think now? To the Chronicle who didn't even send a reporter to Statesboro when it was announced Ga Southern would go FBS, how do you feel now?

kiwiinamerica
979
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kiwiinamerica 11/23/13 - 07:05 pm
0
0
Dead man walking........
Unpublished

Muschamp is gone. Count on it. First Vanderbilt and now this.

Total humiliation for a once proud program.

KSL
143368
Points
KSL 11/24/13 - 01:05 am
1
3
Riverman

Don't tell me you don't remember locals (meaning certain posters) claimed USC had no business playing in the SEC.

KSL
143368
Points
KSL 11/24/13 - 01:14 am
1
3
My comment

Actually has nothing to do with the current game score of this game.

It does have everything to do with his comment of years ago. It was not true then, and it is not true now.

KSL
143368
Points
KSL 11/24/13 - 01:19 am
1
4
By the way

I saw a post today about the former coach of Lakeside advancing his team. Is he still using THE unorthodox play?

KSL
143368
Points
KSL 11/24/13 - 01:21 am
1
4
Illegal play!

Illegal play!

LeConteSkier
567
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LeConteSkier 11/24/13 - 03:09 am
3
0
Awesome day for my Alma Mater!!!

Makes the 2013 Eagle season as amazing as years past! At least one Georgia football team knows how to Rise Up! Welcome to the BCS Georgia Southern!!!

grinder48
2051
Points
grinder48 11/24/13 - 06:38 am
0
0
Georgia Beware
Unpublished

Now if Florida beats Georgia, it'll make Georgia look even more ridiculous. Georgia better really be up for that game!

Riverman1
93323
Points
Riverman1 11/24/13 - 06:47 am
2
0
KSL, yep, I remember when

KSL, yep, I remember when many tried to say USC shouldn't join the SEC. Larry Munson was one of them...God bless his soul.

justthefacts
24948
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justthefacts 11/24/13 - 08:44 am
3
0
Hmm

I see the red wine was flowing freely last night.

Jake
34019
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Jake 11/24/13 - 09:50 am
2
0
Best win for a Georgia team?

I would say the 1980 UGA win over Florida was the best win I can remember. It set up the National Championship game which they won against Notre Dame. Of course the flea-flicker play to beat the then "unbeatable" Crimson Tide in the 70's was also great.

rugerguy
216
Points
rugerguy 11/24/13 - 10:12 am
4
0
Incredible

On any Saturday any team can beat any opponent in college football and that is why it is so terrific to watch. Congratulations to all Georgia Southern fans !

Darby
29191
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Darby 11/24/13 - 12:09 pm
1
0
Oh!

How the mighty have fallen!

These are the guys who pretty much had things their way for so long.

Looks like they have some "rebuilding" to do.

Little Lamb
48881
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Little Lamb 11/24/13 - 02:16 pm
0
0
Past

Maybe Florida will try to lure Spurrier back with a lucrative deal.

justthefacts
24948
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justthefacts 11/24/13 - 03:30 pm
0
0
LL

That would be something.

IBeDogGone
3015
Points
IBeDogGone 11/24/13 - 03:46 pm
1
0
PROUD TO BE AN EAGLE

Everybody in Florida is doing the GATOR Pose, their lower jaw is dropped and they are trying to do the GATOR Bite but nothing is working. It looked like to me they just got beat by a better coached team with some gifted athletes.

tmoney316
3
Points
tmoney316 11/24/13 - 06:43 pm
1
0
GA Southern Game vs Florida

My uncle, dad, bro in law, & I were @ the GA Southern game yesterday @ times the Southern fans were quite loud in the stadium the Florida fans were stunned!!!! But after that last score you could see they were quite worried it was cool to be part of HISTORY WOW WOW GOOOOO EAGLESSSSS

jaquinton
3
Points
jaquinton 11/25/13 - 09:08 pm
1
0
Question

When will the Chronicle set up a dedicated page covering Georgia Southern in the SunBelt? Its certainly overdue...

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