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Gators Remain Undefeated After 42-20 Victory Over Bulls, Questions at QB Remain

It wasn't always pretty, but the Florida Gators got the job done, defeating the South Florida Bulls on Saturday.

Photo credit: Alex Shepherd

The No. 13 Florida Gators didn't do much to silence the brewing quarterback controversy heading into next week's matchup against the Alabama Crimson Tide, and at times showed off plenty of offense in its 42-20 victory over the South Florida Bulls.

With the victory, it would be Florida head coach Dan Mullen's 100th victory of his career.

It wasn't the stellar performance that Mullen likely wanted to see out of his starting quarterback, Emory Jones, today, but the Gators did what was expected of them, earning a victory during its Week 2 matchup against the Bulls.

It was a mixed back for Florida's offense, during the first half it appeared the Gators would run away with the contest during half No. 2, however, its struggles during the third quarter, in particular, were apparent. Jones would throw two interceptions early, one leading to a touchdown for the Bulls, their first TD of the season.

Jones finished the day completing 14 out of 22 of his passes for 151 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Sophomore QB Anthony Richardson picked up where he left off during the second half of the contest, completing a long pass to Jacob Copeland before being held out due to his helmet coming off on the play. While Jones would go in, the Gators were unable to punch it in from a few yards out.

Richardson finished the contest completing all three of his passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. He also would run the football four times for 115 yards and a touchdown on the day. A near-perfect showing from the sophomore quarterback. The rushing touchdown would come from 80 yards out.

There's no question that Richardson's performance will spark even more questions as to who should be starting for Florida moving forward. Richardson averaged 38.1 yards per repetition on the day, including 50.7 yards per passing attempt and 28.8 yards per rush.

However, that conversation might have to wait a bit as the sophomore QB would pull up lame, grabbing his right hamstring following his TD run, never to return to the contest.

Leading the team as a receiver, Copeland was perhaps the most dominant player on the field on Saturday besides Richardson.

He finished the contest with five receptions for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Sporting the No. 1 jersey this season, Copeland looks to follow in the footsteps of his former teammate Kadarius Toney to be selected in the first round of the upcoming draft.

Defensively for Florida, it was an up-and-down performance. While the team held off USF for the majority of the game, there were some concerning aspects to their play as they allowed far too many easy completions and yards on the ground at times.

Still, the defense allowed just 270 on the day, including 96 on the ground, forcing a turnover via a Kaiir Elam interception.  

In all, Florida finished the day with 621 total yards, including 318 yards on the ground, down from its 400-yard rushing performance last week.

The Gators are set to open SEC play next week against Alabama, a contest that will really show how close the team is competing this season for an SEC title.