Florida and Central Florida advanced to Sunday’s final of the Florida Cup with wins over Florida Atlantic and Florida International, respectively, Saturday.
One game was a blowout while the other was a tight affair, but the blowout probably isn’t the game most would have picked. FAU played the Gators very tight, but eventually fell 43-25. The game was stalemated 19-19 at halftime.
“We didn’t play so great, and those guys came to play rugby. They’ve got some really nice speed in the backs that did a really good job,” said Florida coach Ken Simmons of FAU.
“We’d drop a ball and they’d pick it up and take full advantage of it. Bottom line is you can’t give them any room. Give them a little bit of room and you’re screwed if you don’t have enough defenders around.”
Florida struggled to get clean ball in the opening half, because of effective rucking from the Owls.
“They did some really nice counter rucks. We were a little too confident in our rucking and got a little lazy and they just took full advantage of that, added Simmons. “Second half we got a little more commanding in our loose play.”
Florida scored two tries and a penalty to FAU’s two penalties in the second stanza to claim the victory.
The blowout saw Central Florida down FIU 44-19. The Golden Knights’ only loss this fall came at the hands of the Gators in the season opener, 48-10. Sunday’s rematch will decide the winner of the Florida Cup.