Florida 27, Louisiana-Lafayette 20

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Jelani Jenkins returned a blocked punt 36 yards for a touchdown with two seconds left as No. 6 Florida rallied from a late deficit to beat Louisiana-Lafayette 27-20 on Saturday.
Loucheiz Purifoy blocked the punt of Louisiana's Brett Baer, the ball twisting in the wind and into the arms of Jenkins.
It marked an amazing turnaround as the Gators (9-1) went from being down seven points to scoring 14 in a matter of seconds, avoiding perhaps the biggest upset of the season in college football.
It was Florida's fourth blocked kick of the game and the second week in a row Purifoy got one.
Trailing 20-13 with 2:56 left and starting quarterback Jeff Driskel in the locker room with an ankle injury, Florida went 49 yards to tie the game.
Backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett hit tight end Jordan Reed for a 39-yard gain to the 3-yard line and found Quinton Dunbar in the right corner of the end zone for the touchdown. Caleb Sturgis' point-after tied it at 20 with 1:42 left.
Louisiana (5-4) then played conservatively to try to run the clock out for overtime. But there were just enough seconds to save Florida.
It was a tense second half.
The Ragin' Cajuns' Bradley Brown blocked a Kyle Christy punt and Blake Comminie returned it 22 yards for a touchdown that put Louisiana ahead 17-13 with 4:03 left in the third quarter. It was the Cajuns' first blocked punt of the season and the first one the Gators had allowed.
The Gators, after allowing just 20 points in the second half all season, gave up 14 in the first 11 minutes of the third quarter Saturday.
Louisiana drove 77 yards in 12 plays to add a Baer field goal from 22 yards out to make it 20-13 with 13:11 left in the game.
Florida took the game's first lead. Defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd forced a Louisana fumble and linebacker Jon Bostic fell on the ball at the Cajuns' 28. But the Gators couldn't do much with it and had to settle for a 38-yard field goal from Caleb Sturgis. A Lou Groza Award finalist last year, Sturgis suffered an ankle injury in practice before last week's 14-7 win against Missouri and missed most of that contest.
After Sturgis' kick, Louisiana came back to get a 49-yard field goal of its own from Baer to tie it at 3-3 with 4:02 left in the first quarter.
Florida managed to scratch out a nine-play, 85-yard drive at the end of the second quarter. Driskel hit Trey Burton on a 2-yard score in the right corner of the end zone, and Florida led 10-3 at halftime. The big play in the drive was a 30-yard pass to Reed to get the ball to the Louisiana 4.
Aside from the Reed catch, Florida managed just 128 yards in the first half. The Cajuns had just 125.
Florida started the second half by driving 73 yards in six plays but had to settle for a 21-yard field goal to make it 13-3. Reed, a former backup quarterback, took a reverse from Driskel and tried to throw a pass to backup tight end Clay Burton in the end zone on third down, but Burton dropped it.
Louisiana came back with a 77-yard drive that took nine plays. A pass inference call on Purifoy on third-and-goal kept the drive alive. Alonzo Harris scored the touchdown from 2 yards out and it was 13-10 at 8:35 in the third.
NOTES: Baer's second field goal of the game was his 40th in 45 career attempts to give him an 88.9 percent accuracy rating, which is the best in NCAA history. ... UF linebacker Xavier Nixon (knee) missed his second straight game. ... Florida return man Andre Debose (knee) also sat out and defensive tackle Leon Orr continues to struggle with the flu and didn't see action.

What to Read Next