GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Kellen Mond made several huge plays, Daniel LaCamera kicked four field goals and Texas A&M handed Florida a second home loss in as many weeks, 19-17 on Saturday night.
LaCamera’s 32-yarder with 58 seconds remaining proved to be the difference, but Mond made everything happen for the Aggies (5-2, 3-1 Southeastern Conference). The freshman completed eight passes for 180 yards, and added 52 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Mond had completions of 40 and 42 yards to set up fourth-quarter field goals, and Christian Kirk returned a punt 43 yards to set up the game-winner.
Florida (3-3, 3-2) had one final chance in its new, alligator-skin uniforms, but Feleipe Franks threw an interception on first down to end any chance of a comeback.
The loss essentially knocked the Gators out of contention in the SEC’s Eastern Division race and surely will stoke more questions about the direction of the programs — mostly the offense — in coach Jim McElwain’s third season.
Florida dominated in yards (371-263) and first downs (17-10), but came up short on the scoreboard.
The Gators may have been fortunate to score their first touchdown, which came after a bizarre do-over late in the second quarter.
Lamical Perine was seemingly stopped short on a fourth-and-1 play at the Texas A&M 17-yard line. But officials supposedly whistled the play dead before the snap. So Perine got another shot, picked up the first down and then scored on the next play against the stunned Aggies.
Perine made three defenders miss and then carried a fourth into the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown and a 10-3 lead.
Texas A&M tied the game on the opening possession of the second half. Mond completed a 30-yard pass to Camron Buckley to start the drive and capped it with a 9-yard run on a third-and-goal draw play that caught the Gators off guard.
The Gators responded two series later, thanks mostly to Franks’ 79-yard run in which five tackles failed to bring him down. Franks zigzagged his way across the field before getting brought down at the 13-yard line. A sideline infraction penalty moved the ball to the 6, and Dre Massey scored on a jet sweep on the first play of the fourth quarter.
But the Aggies controlled the final frame.
Texas A&M: The Aggies could have used more from Kirk, especially early. The junior was held without a catch in the first half and was barely noticeable until a 40-yard reception set up a field goal in the fourth quarter. He added a 43-yard punt return later that gave the Aggies great field position late in the game.
Florida: Franks made the huge play with his feet, but was mediocre for most of the night. He continued to miss receivers wide open down the middle of the field and misfired on every deep ball.
Florida lost senior defensive end Jordan Sherit, one of the team’s top pass-rushers, midway through the fourth quarter. Sherit injured his right leg on a third-down play and had to be helped off the field. He eventually left the stadium on a cart.
Texas A&M: Gets a bye week before beginning a three-game home-stand against Mississippi State. The home team has won the last four meetings in the series.
Florida: Gets much-needed bye before playing rival and fourth-ranked Georgia in Jacksonville, Florida. The Gators have won 21 of the last 27 meetings, including three in a row, but will be underdogs in this one.
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