Only a late touchdown with the game well out of reach allowed Florida to avoid being blanked for the first time since 1988.
Small victories will have to suffice in place of actual wins, which have proved harder to come by in coach Dan Mullen’s fourth season. The 34-7 loss to Georgia illustrated the chasm of space separating the Gators from the top-ranked Bulldogs and raised another round of questions about whether Mullen has what it takes to close the gap.
It’s been that kind of year for the Gators. After winning the SEC East and putting a scare into Alabama during the pandemic year, Florida stands among the biggest flops in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
While the schedule gets significantly easier from here — South Carolina, Samford, Missouri and Florida State — don’t let an eight-win regular season distract from what’s really at play: Florida is a team and program heading in the wrong direction.
The Gators are among Saturday’s biggest winners and losers:
Down 16 points in the third quarter and with a magical season on the brink, Michigan State outscored Michigan 23-3 in the final 19 minutes to become the only unbeaten team in the Big Ten. The star was running back Kenneth Walker III, who ran for 197 yards and five scores — the most Michigan had ever allowed to a single player. Walker should be at or near the top of every Heisman Trophy watchlist.
Heavy favorites against slumping Penn State, the Buckeyes suffered uncharacteristic…