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.”
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.
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.
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.
In College Station, Texas, Johnny Manziel threw for 426 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score in less than three quarters.
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).
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).
In Little Rock, Ark., freshmen Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams each rushed for more than 100 yards as Arkansas pulled away.
In Auburn, Ala., Cameron Artis-Payne rushed for 102 yards, Tre Mason gained 99 and Nick Marshall passed for two touchdowns to lead Auburn.
In Oxford, Miss., Bo Wallace and Barry Brunetti directed Mississippi to a 31-point outburst in a 20-minute span in the first half.
In Nashville, Tenn., Austyn Carta-Samuels ran for two touchdowns and threw for another for Vanderbilt.