UF Notebook

UF keeps offense conservative in Skyler Mornhingweg’s first career start

 
 
Skyler Mornhinweg #17 of the Florida Gators drops back to pass against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on Nov. 16, 2013 in Columbia, South Carolina.
Skyler Mornhinweg #17 of the Florida Gators drops back to pass against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on Nov. 16, 2013 in Columbia, South Carolina.
Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

Miami Herald Writer

A sprained shoulder sidelined UF redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy, opening the door for redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg’s first career start.

Florida’s third-string quarterback wasn’t asked to do much in Florida’s 19-14 loss to South Carolina on Saturday night, but he did open the game 6 of 6 for 47 yards and didn’t throw his first incomplete pass until the fourth quarter.

Mornhinweg — the 11th freshman quarterback to start a game in UF history — attempted to lead a late fourth-quarter comeback before throwing his first career interception with 1:22 remaining in the game.

He finished 10 of 13 for 107 yards, as he was mostly used as a decoy in Florida’s new-look, “wild-Gator” offense.

Mornhinweg was split wide or sent in motion twice as many times as he threw the ball Saturday night.

Murphy, who originally sprained his shoulder during an Oct. 12 loss to LSU, was a game-time decision. But after not practicing all week, he was officially listed as out during pregame warmups. The junior aggravated his shoulder injury in last weekend’s loss to Vanderbilt.

Reversals

Florida’s 14-6 halftime advantage was its first lead going into the locker room in nearly six weeks. The last time UF opened the second half with a lead was Oct. 5 against Arkansas, leading 17-7.

Also, UF didn’t allow a first-half touchdown for the first time since its season opener, a 24-6 win over Toledo.

Clowney injury

South Carolina All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney exited the game with an apparent foot injury with 13:28 remaining in the second quarter. In a frightening moment for the likley future first-round NFL Draft pick, Clowney blew up a run play for a 3-yard loss but was rolled up on and stayed on the ground while waiting for assistance. Williams-Brice Stadium was silent as Clowney limped off the field, but the junior returned to action a short time later after receiving medical attention.

Suspension

Junior cornerback Marcus Roberson was suspended for Saturday’s game for violating unspecified team rules. Roberson, a starter four times this season, was the seventh UF player this year to miss at least one game because of a suspension. Freshman wideout Demarcus Robinson missed the Tennessee game, and redshirt freshman offensive lineman Quinteze Williams, sophomore wideout Latroy Pittman, junior cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy and junior defensive tackle Darious Cummings all sat out Florida’s season opener against Toledo. Also, injured sophomore linebacker Antonio Morrison was suspended for UF’s first two games in 2013.

This and that

Jarrad Davis made his first career start at outside linebacker. The freshman was also Florida’s special-teams captain. … Junior Ian Silbermann got his second consecutive start at left guard. … Williams-Brice Stadium roared early in the first quarter when the jumbotron showed the amazing ending of the Georgia-Auburn game. Auburn’s late-game heroics kept South Carolina’s slim hopes alive of winning the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division. … South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is now 4-5 against his alma mater. … Valdez Showers rushed for a career-high 31 yards on two carries after tallying just two carries for 3 yards in Florida’s past five games combined. Also, Mack Brown’s 32-yard run in the first half was the longest of the junior tailback’s career.

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