Florida 48, Appalachian St. 10
Jordan Reed accounted for four touchdowns, including a pass to quarterback John Brantley, and Florida beat Appalachian State 48-10 Saturday.
The Gators turned in one of their best offensive performances of the season, snapped a three-game losing streak at home and gave 23 seniors a positive finale in the Swamp.
In a season with nearly as many ups as downs, it didn't matter that it came against a team from the Football Championship Subdivision.
The Gators (7-4) scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions, led 35-0 early in the third quarter and enjoyed their third lopsided victory of the season.
Appalachian State (9-2) lost for the second time in three weeks. Nonetheless, the Mountaineers almost certainly will get a bye in the first round of the FCS playoffs that begin next week.
The Gators, coming off a 36-14 home loss to South Carolina that knocked them out of contention for the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division title, started the day by honoring a senior class that expected much more than a mediocre bowl game.
It was an emotional ceremony for several guys, especially safety Ahmad Black and center Mike Pouncey. Both had tears rolling down their cheeks as they ran onto the field, hugged coach Urban Meyer and gave flowers to their mothers.
Black, Pouncey and their teammates responded by making quick work of the Mountaineers.
Florida's defense set the tone with a three-and-out to start the game, then Chris Rainey opened the scoring with a 16-yard run.
Backup quarterback Trey Burton made it 14-0 on Florida's next drive, scoring on a 3-yard run, then it became the Jordan Reed Show.
Reed had a 1-yard TD run in the second quarter, then two more short scoring runs in the third. He also threw a 5-yard TD pass to Brantley that made it 28-0 just before halftime.
Brantley lined up as a receiver, then slipped uncovered into the end zone. Reed rolled right, then tossed a ball to the corner of the end zone. Brantley caught it and got both feet down for his first career score.
Reed got an even bigger assist in the fourth. He handed off to walk-on senior Gary Beemer, then shoved the defensive tackle across the goal line for a 1-yard score that made it 48-10 with 3:18 to play.
Beemer's reaction was classic. His helmet came off during the celebration and he clutched the ball with both hands as he ran back to the sideline, where coaches and teammates waited to congratulate him.
Brantley completed 16 of 22 passes for 222 yards, with an interception. Rainey led Florida's ground game with 87 yards. Reed (71), Emmanuel Moody (56), Mike Gillislee (56) and Burton (37) also contributing to Florida's season-high 311 yards rushing.
Appalachian State's DeAndre Presley was 19 of 28 passing for 157 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 26 yards.