Recap: Florida vs. Toledo
Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) - Mack Brown ran for 112 yards with a pair of touchdowns, leading 10th-ranked Florida to a 24-6 victory over Toledo in the season opener at the Swamp.
Jeff Driskel was an efficient 17-of-22 passing for 153 yards with a score for the Gators (1-0), who were 11-2 last season with a Sugar Bowl loss to Louisville.
"In the first half, we kind of hurt ourselves on a couple drives. Other than that, they couldn't really stop anything we were throwing at them," Driskel said.
A stout Florida defense kept Toledo out of the end zone, as a pair of Jeremiah Detmer field goals accounted for the Rockets' only scoring. Toledo (0-1) was 9-4 last year with a loss to Utah State in the Potato Bowl.
Florida took its opening possession 84 yards for a score. Driskel completed each of his three passes on the 11-play march, which ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Brown.
A 29-yard run by Valdez Showers set up a 24-yard Austin Hardin field goal early in the second quarter for a 10-0 Florida lead before Detmer answered with a 44-yard kick to get Toledo on the board. The Rockets' score came after Driskel was sacked and fumbled near midfield.
Florida then went 83 yards for another score. Driskel started the 10-play set with passes of 14 and 21 yards, and Brown capped it with a 14-yard TD run to make it 17-3.
Brown had 97 yards at the intermission, while Driskel was 10-of-11 for 101 yards as Florida outgained Toledo, 237-101, in the opening 30 minutes.
Detmer kicked a 23-yard field goal to cap Toledo's first series of the second half -- one aided by three Florida penalties for 25 yards -- and the Gators were unable to mount much of an offensive threat during the third quarter.
The Florida defense, though, came up with the big play when Vernon Hargreaves picked off Terrance Owens and returned the interception 15 yards to the Toledo 23. Five plays later, Driskel found Gideon Ajagbe in the end zone from four yards away to increase the lead to 24-6 in the final minute of the third.
Hardin missed a 39-yard field goal try early in the fourth and Toledo's next series ended near midfield with just 6:49 to play. The Rockets never got the ball back, as Florida ran out the remaining time.
Owens completed 17-of-38 passes for 155 yards with an interception in defeat.
"We didn't execute some of the details, things that of course we would want to execute, but I never saw our kids give up and I think that attitude, that effort, the commitment level that we've reached as a foundation of our football program I saw that carry on for four quarters," Toledo head coach Matt Campbell said.Game Notes
Florida outgained Toledo, 415-205, and held the Rockets to just 50 yards on
the ground ... The Gators were penalized 10 times for 70 yards ... Florida
held the ball for nearly 40 minutes ... The Rockets were 1-for-13 on third
down ... Florida was without five suspended players, including linebacker
Antonio Morrison and cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy.