Gators stunned by poor defensive showing

January, 3, 2013
1/03/13
3:20
AM ET
NEW ORLEANS -- That Florida's offense struggled, especially in the passing game, in a 33-23 loss to Louisville in the Allstate Sugar Bowl isn't really news. That's been happening all season.

But the way the Gators' defense got shredded in front of 54,178 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome? That was stunning.

UF's defense was the reason the Gators were 11-1 and playing in the Sugar Bowl. It was one of the nation's best. Opponents were managing just 12.9 points and 96.6 yards rushing per game. Opposing quarterbacks -- a list that included Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and Georgia's Aaron Murray -- had thrown just five touchdown passes.

But that wasn't what showed up on Wednesday night.

Florida gave up 336 yards -- the second-most it has allowed this season -- and couldn't stop Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Everything the Gators did well all season was a mess in the Sugar Bowl.

"Got out-coached and out-played," UF coach Will Muschamp said. "That's what I told the football team. That's the bottom line. You go out and you get beat, and that's what happened."

The third-ranked Gators (11-2) didn't just get beat, though. They got embarrassed.

Read the complete story here.

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter

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