Miami Falls At Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Just minutes after Florida's season

opener ended, even before players and coaches walked off the field,

the scoreboards went blank.

Even with a victory, the Gators were more than ready to erase

the memory of this one.

No. 4 Florida opened the post-Tim Tebow era with a resounding

thud, maybe the sound of high expectations crashing to the ground.

Yes, the Gators got four interceptions, several red-zone stops and

two late touchdowns to pull away from heavy underdog Miami of Ohio

34-12 Saturday.

But the real story was coach Urban Meyer's anemic offense, the

one quarterback John Brantley had hoped to "keep rolling" after

waiting three years behind Tebow.

Instead, Brantley and the Gators spent most of the game in


"I didn't imagine the offense's incompetence that we

experienced today," Meyer said.

There were a bunch of fumbles, several bad snaps, some poor

throws, six penalties and a whole lot of frustration in The Swamp.

Brantley completed 17 of 25 passes for 113 yards and two

touchdowns. He had a 10-yarder to Omarius Hines that was the

offense's longest play of the day until speedster Jeff Demps' got

loose for a 72-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter. Brantley

also threw a 25-yard TD pass to Chris Rainey with 1:21 remaining.

That fourth-and-21 pass bounced off a teammate before Rainey

grabbed it in the end zone.

The offense had few other highlights.

"I'm not embarrassed at all," Brantley said. "It was one

those days, I guess you could say."

Florida finished with eight fumbles (three lost) and 212 yards,

187 of them in the final 13 minutes. There was plenty of blame to

go around, too.

Deonte Thompson, who was miffed by the perception that he had

bad hands last year, dropped a perfectly thrown deep ball in the

end zone. Mike Pouncey, who moved from guard to center this year,

airmailed one snap over Brantley's head and chunked two others into

the ground.

The offensive line looked every bit like a patchwork unit.

Starting left tackle Xavier Nixon (knee) and backup Matt Patchan

(wrist) missed the game, and left guard Carl Johnson didn't play

because of an apparent suspension.

Demps and Emmanuel Moody were mostly bottled up at the line of

scrimmage, Brantley seemed to check down early and often, and every

deep pass fell to the ground.

Florida was more concerned with the turnovers.

"It'd be tough to win with those turnovers against an SEC

school," Brantley said.

The Gators managed a measly 25 yards, including minus-16

rushing, through three quarters. Nonetheless, they led 21-12 thanks

to interceptions by Jon Bostic, Janoris Jenkins and Ahmad Black.

Jenkins returned his 67 yards for a touchdown that put Florida

ahead 7-3 in the second quarter.

Black's pick set up backup quarterback Trey Burton's 2-yard run,

which put Florida ahead 21-3. Many figured that would spark the

offense in the second half. Instead, the Gators stalled on three

consecutive drives in the third quarter, failing to convert on

fourth down, fumbling two more snaps and punting, then missing a

field goal.

"Frustration? I know I'm beyond that," Meyer said.

"Frustration? You've just got to get a little better. We'll fix

those things. If you keep seeing them over and over again, then

you've got to make changes. We're certainly not going to hit that

mode yet. We need to get a lot better."

Zac Dysert completed 25 of 44 passes for 191 yards for Miami,

which got a career-high four field goals from Trevor Cook. He was


The RedHawks had opportunities to make it even closer. Not only

did they settle for three short field goals, they turned the ball

over four times and made two other costly errors. Linebacker Ryan

Kennedy missed an open receiver on a fake punt deep in Florida

territory and running back Thomas Merriweather was called for a

personal foul penalty that gave the Gators a first-and-goal at the


"I think turnovers and a lack of discipline cost us the

football game," said Miami coach Michael Haywood, whose team

finished 1-11 last year and came to Gainesville as five-touchdown

underdogs. "We can't make mistakes on offense and we have to keep

pressing forward and eliminating the mental errors."

Merriweather was ejected for apparently punching defensive

tackle Dominique Easley in the helmet. Merriweather was booed as he

walked to the locker room.

But the 90,178 on hand saved the loudest jeers for Florida's

offense, which had just one starter (left guard James Wilson) in

the same spot as the 2009 opener.

"Once the other team has momentum, and you've got all negative

momentum, it just goes downhill from there," Pouncey said. "When

we did get stuff going I (messed) up the snap, and then when we did

get stuff going again ... we just kept fumbling. It won't happen


(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)