cloudy.png
Friday September 30th, 2022 9:04AM

USF botches late FG, No. 18 Florida gets 31-28 win in Swamp

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Anthony Richardson nearly cost Florida another victory.

He can thank cornerback Tre’Vez Johnson, running back Trevor Etienne and South Florida's late gaffes for getting him off the hook.

Etienne’s 3-yard touchdown run followed Johnson’s fourth-quarter interception and helped the 18th-ranked Gators hold off South Florida 31-28 in the Swamp on Saturday night.

USF's Spencer Shrader missed a 49-yard field goal with 23 seconds left that likely would have sent the game into overtime. Shrader had little chance of making the kick after holder Andrew Beardall dropped the ball while trying to get it set.

“We got a lot of work to do. That's very obvious,” Florida coach Billy Napier said. “But credit to our team for sticking together and finding a way to win."

Nonetheless, the back-and-forth game will be remembered mostly for Richardson's miscues and his team's inability to stop the run against a 24 1/2-point underdog that entered the game having lost 19 of 23 under third-year coach Jeff Scott.

“We came here to win the game. We did not get that done," Scott said. “That hurts.”

Richardson was off most of the night for the second straight week. He completed 10 of 18 passes for 112 yards and two interceptions. The first one led to seven points for the Bulls. The second one cost his team points. Richardson checked out of a run on a first-and-goal play from the 5 and attempted a back-shoulder throw to Justin Shorter. Cornerback Aarmaris Brown picked it off.

“I have no issue with the decision. It's how he threw it," Napier said. “Simple play, got to be executed better."

Richardson added: "I just didn't give him a chance to make a play on the ball."

It was the second straight game that Richardson did more harm than good for Florida (2-1). He threw two interceptions last week against Kentucky, both of them leading to short field and touchdowns for the Wildcats in a 10-point loss.

Richardson was hoping to rebound against South Florida, which entered the game with one of the worst defenses in college football. Instead, he left some Florida fans questioning whether he's a long-term solution at the all-important position.

Florida looked to be in trouble after Richardson's second pick. They trailed 28-24 and needed help. Johnson delivered, intercepting Gerry Bohanon’s third-down pass on the ensuing possession and giving Florida the ball back with a short field.

Napier turned to Etienne, the younger brother of Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne. Trevor Etienne carried the ball four straight times, the last one into the end zone to put Florida back in front.

The Gators still needed a stop to preserve the victory. They got help from the Bulls (1-2), who botched a shotgun snap, lost 14 yards and ended up with a longer field-goal try than expected on their final play.

Montrell Johnson ran for 103 yards and a touchdown to lead Florida. Etienne added 56 yards on the ground. Richardson was the story, though. He looked more like former Florida quarterback Treon Harris than retired NFL star Cam Newton (the guy he's been compared to) as a passer.

Florida doesn't have a TD pass in three games, a skid for a program accustomed to tossing the ball around with success.

“We put the ball in his hands and ask him to do a lot. He's going to make mistakes," Napier said.

Brian Battie led the Bulls with 150 yards rushing and a touchdown. Bohanon chipped in 102 yards and a score on the ground. But his two interceptions were the difference for a team than finished with 286 yards rushing.

“That game showed we can play with anybody," Bohanon said. “We showed it is about us.”

THE TAKEAWAY

South Florida: The Bulls fell to 0-3 against Florida, but this one was considerably closer than the previous two. It could be a sign USF is closing the gap on the Gators, who remain the only Sunshine State team that hasn’t lost to South Florida.

Florida: The Gators failed to score in the third quarter for the third time in as many games this season, an eye-opening trend in Napier’s first season. Florida has been outscored 24-0 by Utah, Kentucky and South Florida in the frame.

UP NEXT

South Florida: Plays at Louisville next Saturday, the Bulls’ first trip there since 2012.

Florida: Plays at Tennessee next Saturday, the Gators’ first road trip of the season.

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://link.apnews.com/join/6nr/morning-wire-newsletter-2021

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Sports - College Football
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
USF botches late FG, No. 18 Florida gets 31-28 win in Swamp
Trevor Etienne’s 3-yard touchdown run with 5 minutes remaining helped No. 18 Florida rally to beat South Florida 31-28
11:11PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Buescher wins Bristol; Harvick, Busch, RCR out of playoffs
Chris Buescher closed out a bizarre first round of NASCAR’s playoffs in which none of the title contenders won a race by becoming the 19th winner this season with his victory Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway
11:08PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Puerto Rico girds for possible hurricane as TS Fiona nears
Tropical Storm Fiona is heading for Puerto Rico and forecasters are warning it likely will grow into a hurricane before hitting on Sunday with extremely heavy rains
11:04PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Justin Lower birdies 18th to take 1-shot lead at Fortinet
Justin Lower weathered the wind and birdied the 18th hole Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the season-opening Fortinet Championship
9:22PM ( 1 hour ago )
No. 20 Ole Miss runs right through Ga Tech in 42-0 blowout
No. 20 Ole Miss shrugged off its uncertainty at quarterback by running right through Georgia Tech to improve to 3-0 on the season
8:38PM ( 2 hours ago )
Young, No. 2 Alabama roll over Louisiana-Monroe, 63-7
Bryce Young passed for three touchdowns and rushed for a fourth, Will Anderson Jr. scored on an interception return and No. 2 Alabama rolled to a 63-7 victory over Louisiana-Monroe
8:24PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Bennett, No. 1 Georgia's D steamrolls South Carolina 48-7
Stetson Bennett went 16 for 23 for 284 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score to lead No. 1 Georgia to a 48-7 victory over South Carolina
5:17PM ( 6 hours ago )
Falcons place RB Damien Williams on IR with injured rib
The Atlanta Falcons have placed running back Damien Williams on injured reserve with a rib injury
4:37PM ( 6 hours ago )
Te'o returns to Notre Dame, 1st public appearance in decade
Former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o made his first public appearance on campus in nearly a decade since it was disclosed he was the victim of a high-profile catfishing scheme involving a fake girlfriend
3:58PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online Football
SC's Beamer focused on field, not on Georgia's No. 1 rank
South Carolina coach Shane Beamer is focused on the field, not on Georgia’s No. 1 ranking
4:13PM ( 2 days ago )
No. 1 Georgia hopes to keep rolling at South Carolina
No. 1 Georgia looks to keep its fast start going at South Carolina on Saturday
3:09PM ( 2 days ago )
No. 20 Ole Miss faces first road test at Georgia Tech
No. 20 Ole Miss hits the road for the first time this season, traveling to Atlanta on Saturday to face Georgia Tech. Coach Lane Kiffin is still waffling on the quarterback position
1:21PM ( 2 days ago )
College Sports
Texts: Mississippi governor knew of welfare payment to Favre
Newly revealed text messages show how deeply involved a Mississippi governor was in directing more than $1 million in welfare money to retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre
3:40PM ( 3 days ago )
Petrino comes full-circle as Missouri State visits Arkansas
Bobby Petrino is 61 these days
1:56PM ( 3 days ago )
Text messages link Favre, welfare money, volleyball facility
New court documents show the Mississippi governor in 2017 knew of a plan for a nonprofit group to pay Brett Favre more than $1 million in welfare grant money so the retired NFL quarterback could help fund a volleyball facility
12:30PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - College Football
Buescher wins Bristol; Harvick, Busch, RCR out of playoffs
Chris Buescher closed out a bizarre first round of NASCAR’s playoffs in which none of the title contenders won a race by becoming the 19th winner this season with his victory Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway
11:08PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Puerto Rico girds for possible hurricane as TS Fiona nears
Tropical Storm Fiona is heading for Puerto Rico and forecasters are warning it likely will grow into a hurricane before hitting on Sunday with extremely heavy rains
11:04PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Sheriff: 2 small planes collide in midair near Denver, 3 die
Authorities say three people are dead after two small planes collided in midair near Denver
11:01PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Acuña accounts for all 4 runs as Braves hold off Phillies
Ronald Acuña Jr. homered and drove in four runs off Aaron Nola and flashed some fancy defense in right field, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies
10:47PM ( 33 minutes ago )