Riley Cooper Comes Up Big

Riley Cooper

It wasn't Riley Cooper's flashiest game of his football career, but it was his most clutch performance as a Florida Gator. The Gators were tied with Arkansas in the last five minutes of the game Saturday and Cooper had only three catches to his name when they started the drive at their own 20-yard line. Cooper doubled his catches on the night with that drive and the Gators won a nail biter.

Riley Cooper finished with six catches for 58 yards on the night. The three in the final drive to clinch the win were all clutch catches that were key in the victory. For Cooper, his relationship with Tim Tebow was big for the Florida Gators to pull it out.

"We had a bunch of confidence," Cooper said of the connection between the two. "Tebow came to me on those few plays. I am his roommate and I think we have a good bond. Coach came to me and said make a play.

On the drive Cooper made a crucial 2nd-and-7 completion for 10 yards. He had a nice comebacker on 2nd and 5 for 7 yards. Tebow tried to hit him in the end zone on a 40 yard bomb that fell incomplete. But it was a 3rd and 10 catch for 13 yards that really put the Gators in close enough position for a field goal.

"I slipped my route coming out of my break, but Tebow put it right where it needed to be," Cooper said of the acrobatic catch that was much more impressive than the way he stated it.

It kept Cooper's goal alive of winning every game on the schedule.

"I want to have an undefeated season this year," he said. "We have to take it week to week and practice hard. It was kind of a gut check tonight, a closer game than we wanted it to be, but we came out with the 'W'."

This season, the offense isn't running on all cylinders like most thought it might. The passing game, has been stagnant at times, but seem to come up clutch on Saturday accumulating 255 yards and a touchdown in the win.

"We knew we'd have a little type of different offense this year," Cooper said. "We have three running backs that can make people miss and they are real good at what they do. It is a little different style offense."

All of that doesn't matter as Cooper is trying to keep his eye on the prize.

"I think we came in not as focused as we should have been, but a W is a W," he said. "We are 6-0 and hopefully we get the win next week against Dan Mullen."

The Gators travel to Starkville, Miss. to take on Dan Mullen's Mississippi State Bulldogs next weekend. Mullen was the offensive coordinator for the Gators last season and helped guide the Gators to the national championship.

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