The Swamp was rocking, and so were the Gators.
And Mississippi never got off the mat.
The No. 3 Rebels returned to The Swamp for the first time since shocking the eventual national champions in 2008, but it was their turn to play the victim: Florida came out playing fast, aggressive football, and never let off the gas: For their efforts, the Gators secured a 38-10 win, Jim McElwain's first signature victory..
Florida led 13-0 after the first quarter, and 25-0 at the half, behind surprising offense and smothering defense. Will Grier had a career day, completing 24 of 29 passes for 271 yards and four touchdowns. If he was sick, as was rumored late in a week when the Gators were dealing with a flu bug, it sure didn't show.
The Gators finished with 355 total yards of offense, as Florida's receivers made plays and the young and inexperienced offensive line held its own against one of the country's strongest defensive lines. Florida took care to spread the ball around again, with four different Gator receivers catching touchdown passes: Demarcus Robinson, Antonio Callaway, Brandon Powell and Jake McGee all hauled in scores. Redshirt freshman kicker Jorge Powell attempted and made both of his first field goal attempts, but did miss an extra point.
On the other side, Mississippi turned the ball over four times, coughing up three fumbles and an interception, while Florida finished the game without a turnover. The Gators' defense played inspired football, especially up front, finishing with four sacks and pressuring Rebels QB Chad Kelly into his worst day of the year. Florida also snuffed out what could have been the first stage of a Rebels comeback in the third quarter, holding Mississippi to a field goal on a goal-to-go series. The Gators yielded a touchdown, yes, but only when the game was well in hand.
And the Gators' list of achievements, especially after five years spent largely licking their wounds, is staggering: Florida soundly defeated a top-three team for the first time since 2008, remained unbeaten, and now own sole possession of the SEC East lead. Furthermore, McElwain became the first coach since Steve Spurrier to open his first season as the Gators' coach 5-0.
Today is certainly a day when it is great to be a Florida Gator.