GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida A&M owned The Swamp -- during
halftime, while its world-famous band was on the field. The rest of
the time, it was Florida and tailback DeShawn Wynn doing all the
Wynn tied a school record with four touchdowns Saturday night to
help the 19th-ranked Gators to a 63-3 victory in their last tuneup
before the Southeastern Conference opener next week against
Ingle Martin threw for 139 yards and one touchdown. Chris Leak
threw for 79 yards and another score. Wynn, a redshirt freshman,
ran for 95 yards and joined Jesse Palmer, Fred Taylor and four
others with the single-game TD record.
The Gators (2-1) built a 35-3 lead at halftime and, unlike last
week against No. 2 Miami, there was no way they were going to blow
it against the Division I-AA Rattlers (1-2).
Of course, that's not to say FAMU walked away empty-handed. For
making the trip from Tallahassee, the Rattlers earned $415,000 from
Florida -- money that will certainly help when they move to Division
I-A next season.
One thing the school won't need to do is upgrade its band, "The
Marching 100," known far and wide as one of the best in the
Dressed in bright orange and green, the band serenaded the
Gators at the opening kick with a version of The O'Jay's
"Backstabbers" -- "They're smilin' in your face, all the time
they want to take your place" -- and kept the music coming during
timeouts. At halftime, they took the act to the field, spelling out
the words "Get Low!" and marching back to the stands to the theme
from "Good Times," the classic 1970s sitcom starring Jimmie
Besides Wynn's fine outing, the band was the highlight of an
otherwise predictable day. Most in the crowd of 90,087 stayed to
watch, and gave a standing ovation when it was over.
Back to the game, it was hard to tell exactly what the lopsided
win meant for the Gators, who play the first of eight straight SEC
games beginning next week. A better gauge was last week's 38-33
loss to Miami where, despite a blown 23-point lead, Florida showed
it could compete with the best in the country.
Ron Zook's team did little to debunk that notion. In fact, the
Gators got better on special teams, the one place they had
struggled this year. Florida blocked a field goal and a punt and
forced A&M punter Damon Miller to scramble for a 2-yard loss.
The Rattlers' brief hopes came on the first play from scrimmage,
when Levy Brown made his 12th career interception and returned it
to the Florida 28. It was one of three early A&M trips inside the
Gators 30; they produced three field goal attempts and only three
Led by Rashard Pompey's 78 yards rushing, A&M's overmatched
"Gulf Coast Offense" was held to 268 yards.
Meanwhile, the Gators may have found a star in Wynn, who ran for
three touchdowns and caught another. The Cincinnati native -- voted
runner-up to Maurice Clarett as Ohio's prep player of the year --
has five touchdowns this year, including a 65-yard run last week
Also playing well was tight end Ben Troupe, who had three
catches for 41 yards, including and 7-yard TD from Leak.
Counting their 65-3 victory over San Jose State in the opener,
the Gators have yet to allow a touchdown at home this season.