Gators tune-up for 'Noles with rout of Western Carolina
Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) - Freshman wideout Riley Cooper enjoyed a career day as he hauled in three passes, all for touchdowns, in Florida's 62-0 drubbing of Western Carolina at The Swamp.
Tim Tebow completed 10-of-12 passes for 200 yards with two touchdowns, and rushed six times for 47 yards with two more scores for the Gators (10-1), who have won their last four games following a defeat against Auburn.
Mon Williams carried nine times for 95 yards while DeShawn Wynn scored two touchdowns on just four carries in the opening quarter. Florida limited the playing time for many of its regulars, including starting quarterback Chris Leak, who completed 9-of-12 passes for 100 yards.
Andy Horn threw for just 35 yards on 5-of-12 passing and Darius Fudge could only muster 44 yards on 23 carries for the I-AA Catamounts (2-9), who wrapped up their season with nine straight losses after a 2-0 start.
The Gators asserted their dominance from the outset, leaving no doubt as to who was the superior team as they marched 65 yards in seven plays to take a 7-0 lead. Wynn capped the drive as he dashed up the middle, hurdled a tackler at the 15 and raced into the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown.
Wynn was at it again on Florida's second possession. After taking over at the Western Carolina 29, Wynn ran off left tackle and carried a pair of Catamounts defenders into the end zone from seven yards out to double the advantage.
Just over three minutes into the second quarter, Florida extended its lead to 20-0. The Gators traveled 73 yards in six plays, and seized a 20-point cushion when Leak hit Cooper with a seven-yard TD pass. The extra point was blocked, but the rout was on.
Hulking freshman Tebow rumbled 20 yards for a touchdown and a 27-0 Florida lead with 6:59 to play in opening half. The Gators defense then forced a punt on the ensuing Western Carolina possession, and Brandon James took it 77 yards the other way for a touchdown and a 34-0 lead at the break.
Just under four minutes into the second half, Tebow plunged in from one-yard out for his second touchdown of the game and a 41-0 advantage.
Jarred Fayson's eight-yard TD scamper made it 48-0, before Tebow floated a 55- yard touchdown toss to Cooper for a 55-0 edge.
The Gators capped the scoring with 7:38 to play as Tebow hit Cooper once again for a 19-yard score.
Florida has now won its last 15 games at home...Florida outgained Western Carolina 582-59 in total net yards...The Gators visit rival Florida State next week before playing in the SEC title game on December 2.
11/18 15:31:19 ET