Gators Finish the Season Strong in Outback Bowl

Gators Finish the Season on a High Note

Heading into the Outback Bowl there was some concern that the Florida Gators would not have enough offense to get past the Hawkeyes. But boy did they silence their critics as they dismantled Iowa 30-3. Leading the way for the Gators was their stellar defense. Florida held the Hawkeyes to just 55 passing yards and limited them to just 3 trips to the red zone, resulting in a lone field goal. Despite the strong showing from their defense, the Gators offense had no problem moving the ball and the final score could have been a lot higher if the Florida had found the end zone in the 4th quarter instead of kicking 2 field goals.

For Coach McElwain the Outback Bowl is his first victory as the Gator’s head coach. It is also the 19th win for Florida in the past two years which gives them more victories than any SEC team except Alabama. After the game McElwain said that he was pleased with his entire team especially the way that they overcame a pair of early interceptions. When asked about his defensive game plan, McELwain he said that Randy Shannon got creative and was able to put together a plan unlike any they had executed this season.

Now usually if a team wins 30-03, you would think that it would be an offensive player winning the Outback Bowl MVP, but instead for the Gators it was safety Chauncey Gardner. But if you ask Gardner, the credit goes to his defensive line as they made his life in the secondary that much easier. As far as the team’s performance, Garnder feels that they have shown that their “next man up” mentality will work with so many defensive payers moving on to the NFL next season. Already Gardner is a leader for Florida, but next year he should have no problem filling an even better role. Before finishing his press conference Gardner spoke about his offseason plans and all the work that he is going to put in to have an even better season next year.

Kip Michalak is a former 3-sport collegiate athlete who has been covering the NBA as an Orlando Magic Insider for the past 3 seasons. Kip has also covered high school sports in Tampa Bay for 5 years. In addition to his basketball reporting Kip has covered a handful of major sporting events, which include: 2015, 2019 NCAA Women’s Final Four 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final 2016 NCAA Frozen Four 2018 NHL All Star Game 2016-2020 Outback Bowls