Around the SEC: Gators flop in Miami; Vols cruise

Associated Press photo by ALAN DIAZ -- Florida defensive back Marcus Maye watches the final minutes of Saturday's game against Miami. The Hurricanes won 21-16.
Associated Press photo by ALAN DIAZ -- Florida defensive back Marcus Maye watches the final minutes of Saturday's game against Miami. The Hurricanes won 21-16.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Once again, Florida flopped against Miami.

It just wasn’t intentional this time around.

The 12th-ranked Gators dominated just about every statistical category — including turnovers, and that ultimately was what decided everything. Florida turned the ball over five times, came up empty on four red-zone trips and wound up losing 21-16 to the Hurricanes on Saturday in what’s widely expected to be the last time the one-time traditional rivals meet for a long, long time.

“I can’t give it to Miami,” Gators offensive lineman Jonotthan Harrison said. “It is on us.”

Stephen Morris threw two first-quarter touchdown passes to put Miami ahead, and the onslaught of Gator mistakes ensured that the Hurricanes stayed there. The win almost certain assures that the Hurricanes — dogged for the last 26 months by a still-unresolved NCAA probe — will return to the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2010.

In 1971, the Gators executed what’s forever known as the “Florida Flop,” when the defense fell to the ground and let Miami score, just so the offense could get the ball back and allow John Reaves to break Jim Plunkett’s record for NCAA career passing yards.

This one will just go down as an all-day flop.

Jeff Driskel completed 22 of 33 passes for a career-best 291 yards and a late touchdown for Florida (1-1), which had gotten off to 2-0 starts in each of the previous eight seasons.

Kentucky 41, Miami (Ohio) 7

In Lexington, Ky., Maxwell Smith threw three long touchdown passes and Jalen Whitlow and Raymond Sanders each added scoring runs.

The Wildcats (1-1) made a winner of first-year coach Mark Stoops and Smith, who started for the first time since a season-ending ankle injury last September.

Tennessee 52, Western Kentucky 20

In Knoxville, Tenn., Justin Coleman and Cameron Sutton returned interceptions for touchdowns as Tennessee scored after each of Western Kentucky’s five first-quarter turnovers.

Marlin Lane rushed for 97 yards and one touchdown for Tennessee (2-0). Rajion Neal ran for 74 yards and three touchdowns.

Texas A&M 65, Sam Houston State 28

In College Station, Texas, Johnny Manziel threw for 426 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score in less than three quarters.

Texas A&M’s suspension-depleted defense was burned for several big plays by the Bearkats, the FCS runner-up the last two seasons, in the final tuneup before next week’s rematch with top-ranked Alabama.

Mississippi State 51, Alcorn State 7

In Starkvile, Miss., Dak Prescott threw for 174 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start and Mississippi State (1-1) breezed past Alcorn State (1-1).

Missouri 38, Toledo 23

In Columbia, Mo., James Franklin made crucial big plays on consecutive scoring drives in the second half and Missouri (2-0) pulled away from Toledo (0-2).

Arkansas 31, Samford 21

In Little Rock, Ark., freshmen Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams each rushed for more than 100 yards as Arkansas pulled away.

Auburn 38, Arkansas State 9

In Auburn, Ala., Cameron Artis-Payne rushed for 102 yards, Tre Mason gained 99 and Nick Marshall passed for two touchdowns to lead Auburn.

Ole Miss 31, Southeast Missouri 13

In Oxford, Miss., Bo Wallace and Barry Brunetti directed Mississippi to a 31-point outburst in a 20-minute span in the first half.

Vanderbilt 38, Austin Peay 3

In Nashville, Tenn., Austyn Carta-Samuels ran for two touchdowns and threw for another for Vanderbilt.