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Colleges

Emotional UF locker room after loss

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 07:39 PM
JACKSONVILLE -

Florida's locker room was filled with pep talks and tears after Saturday's 17-9 loss to Georgia that ended the Gators' hopes of a perfect season.

Now Florida needs help to get to the SEC Championship Game.

Georgia, which also has one conference loss, needs to beat Ole Miss and Auburn, teams that have struggled all season, during the next two weeks to claim the East and head to Atlanta.

Gators lineman Jon Halapio (St. Pete Catholic)said QB Jeff Driskel and several older players spoke up in the postgame talk after the crushing defeat. The message spread was that the season isn't over.

"Of course we're disappointed about this game,'' Halapio said. "(A win) would have solidified everything and made everything easier for us. But the game's over. We've just got to watch film Monday, see what we did wrong and move on to Missouri (Saturday's opponent in Gainesville)."

Teammates jumped to the defense of TE Jordan Reed, who fumbled into the end zone as he tried to score in the game's closing moments. If he had scored, UF could have gone for two points to send it into overtime.

Reed was in tears on the sideline as the game ended.

"It wasn't one play that lost the game for us,'' Halapio said. "I feel like it was a team effort. There were little plays here and there that could have definitely taken us out of the situation that we were in as far as the fourth quarter."

Jones all over the field

Georgia LB Jarvis Jones sat on a stool in the hallway underneath EverBank Field after Saturday's win as sweat still covered his face.

There were no smiles.

Earlier in the week, teammate Shawn Williams had called his own teammates soft.

Perfect timing? You better believe it.

Bulldogs coach Mark Richt couldn't help but shake his head at the way his defense responded, causing six turnovers and limiting Florida to 266 yards of offense, including 81 on the ground.

The game was locked up, fittingly, when Jones knocked the ball away from Reed when he tried to leap into the end zone.

Jones finished with 12 solo tackles and an assist for 13 total tackles. He had three sacks, two fumbles caused and two recovered.

"Shawn gave us a challenge this week and everyone stepped up,'' Jones said. "This makes us feel better. We played every snap like it was our last and executed the game plan.''

Injury report

Florida probably lost WR Solomon Patton for the season. He was hit on the Georgia sideline on a reverse play and went down with a broken arm. … LB Jelani Jenkins continues to have issues with a hamstring pull and left the game early. He did not return.

Noteworthy

Caleb Sturgis kicked three field goals to make him the third Gator in history to score 300 points in his career. He is at 302. Jeff Chandler (368) and Tim Tebow (342) top the list. … Florida's three interceptions gave it 11, more than last season's total of eight.

David Jones, Florida Today

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