GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Will Grier was sick all right.
He was downright nasty.
Grier threw four touchdown passes to four receivers, all in the first half, and No. 25 Florida upset third-ranked Mississippi 38-10 on Saturday night to give coach Jim McElwain a signature win in his first season in Gainesville.
Grier battled a stomach virus for two days before the game, feeling so ill that the Gators (5-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) thought there was a chance Treon Harris might get the nod. Grier started anyway and was sharper than ever.
The freshman completed 24 of 29 passes for 271 yards against the Rebels (4-1, 2-1). He was poised, precise with every throw and even closer to perfect than he was down the stretch against Tennessee last week.
His four-touchdown first half gave him six TD passes in his past three quarters.
With All-America Robert Nkemdiche draped all over him, Grier found Demarcus Robinson on a 36-yard score in the first quarter. He hooked up with Jake McGee for a 2-yard score a few minutes later, five plays after Ole Miss running back Jaylen Walton fumbled.
Grier added two more TD passes in the second quarter, beating a third-down blitz with a quick slant to Brandon Powell that turned into a 77-yard score. Grier added a 15-yarder to Antonio Callaway with 20 seconds remaining in the half.
Florida's defense, meanwhile, dominated up front. Rebels QB Chad Kelly was sacked three times,fumbled twice, burned timeouts because of crowd noise and confusion and took a beating when he scrambled.