DALLAS (FWAA) – The Florida Gators steamrolled Ole Miss in a battle of Southeastern Conference unbeatens, taking a 25-0 halftime lead and then securing the upset with three second-half takeaways to send the Gators to the top of the SEC East Division with a 38-10 win. The Gators (5-0) are unbeaten through five games for the first time since 2012 and have earned the AutoNation National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Oct. 3.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Will Grier tossed four first-half touchdown passes to set the tone early and get the sellout crowd of 90,585 at The Swamp into a deafening roar. Grier continued his hot streak from a week earlier, when he led Florida from 13 points down in the final 10 minutes for a 28-27 win at Tennessee. Against Ole Miss, Grier was 24-of-29 passing for 271 yards.
The rest was left to the Gators’ defense. Ole Miss came into the game leading the SEC in scoring (54.8 points per game) and total offense (543.5 yards per game), but left Florida Field with only 328 total yards.
“What a great win for the Gators, for our fans and Gator Nation,” head coach Jim McElwain said. “We have players who have accepted the challenges that we’ve put forth and are really invested in themselves and each other, and I think there were a lot of good things that point to that in this ball game. That stadium was something special and you know, for a kid from Montana, man, I just got to tell you that was pretty cool.”
No. 3 Ole Miss was the highest-ranked opponent to lose at Florida Field in 16 years, dating back to a Florida upset over No. 2 and defending national champion Tennessee in 1999. At 3-0 in SEC play, Florida is the only undefeated team in conference play in the SEC East.
Other AutoNation National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Oct. 3 included:
• Alabama (4-1): The Crimson Tide went into Athens and dominated No. 8 Georgia, 38-10, in a steady rain. Quarterback Jake Coker had a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown, and the defense and special teams each contributed a touchdown. Alabama’s defense contained Georgia’s two quarterbacks to a combined 11-of-31 passing day and 3.2 yards per completion.
• Arizona State (3-2): The Sun Devils held No. 7 UCLA to a season-low 342 total yards and only 62 rushing yards in a 38-23 win at the Rose Bowl. Mike Bercovici threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another. Meanwhile, ASU’s defense scored two safeties, forced eight three-and-outs, and held a second consecutive opponent to less than 100 rushing yards.
• UNLV (2-3): The Rebels snapped a nine-game road losing streak dating back to 2013 by holding off a late Nevada rally and winning its annual Battle for the Fremont Cannon, 23-17, in Reno. One possession after Nevada had climbed to within 13-10 in the fourth quarter, UNLV middle linebacker Ryan McAleenan stepped in front of a pass and returned it 52 yards for a score for provide a cushion.
2015 AutoNation National Teams of the Week
• Weekend of Sept. 5: Temple Owls
• Weekend of Sept. 12: Toledo Rockets
• Weekend of Sept. 19: Ole Miss Rebels
• Weekend of Sept. 26: Utah Utes
• Weekend of Oct. 3: Florida Gators