CANDLESTICK PARK — In modern sports where the logo is everything, Frank Gore chose his post-game wardrobe to make a statement, not a buck.
Wearing a hoodie with a dead, upside-down Miami Dolphin on it, Gore told the media after the game:
Post-Game Audio: 49ers running back Frank Gore
“I had this before the season. I know we had the Dolphins on the schedule. I’m not playing there, so I said, ‘We’ve got to flip them upside down when we play them.’”
Frank Gore had his usual smashmouth performance Sunday afternoon, powering his way for 63 yards on the ground and a touchdown as the 49ers beat the Dolphins, 27-13.
Though he appeared overmatched last week at St. Louis, Colin Kaepernick is now 3-1 since given the job at quarterback. Kaepernick was 18-of-23 for 185 yards Sunday with a 50-yard scoring run.
49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said of Kaep:
“He acquitted himself very well in this game. He made some big-time throws and ran the offense … did a good job of running the football. And his reads were very good for the most part. I think he was high completion, 18 of 23. But, he did good.”
Gore also passed the 1,000 yard plateau in the 49ers victory, improving the team’s record to 9-3-1 with three games remaining:
“Every year, once I get older, I want to probably become lighter, like a pound or two lighter. And, I just love the game of football. I’ve been playing it since I was four and I’m just having fun. We’re winning, having another great year as a team and just having fun.”
It was a solid game as well for receiver Michael Crabtree, who had nine catches for 93 yards.
On defense, it was a monumental day for linebacker Aldon Smith, who added two sacks to his league-leading 19.5 sacks and passed Fred Dean on the 49ers all-time franchise list for sacks in a single season. Dean held the record for 29 years with 17.5 sacks in 1983.
With three games remaining, Smith is only three sacks shy of the NFL record of 22.5 held by Michael Strahan.
Linebacker Patrick Willis said Smith was having an incredible year:
To have as many sacks as he has right now, I think they talk about a record that he’s getting close to breaking. And for him, it’s not something that he thinks about. … He does a great job for us in the run game and then when it’s time to get after the quarterback, he gets after it.”
The game was closer than the final score indicated. Both teams traded field goals in the first half. Early in the third quarter, Miami punt returner Michael Thigpen muffed a catch and C.J. Spilman recovered the ball for the 49ers at the Dolphins 9-yard line. An 8-yard run by Anthony Dixon set up Gore’s one-yard touchdown to put San Francisco ahead 13-3.
In the fourth quarter, a defensive pass interference penalty on Miami’s Sean Smith on 4th-and-1 kept a drive alive for the 49ers. Following a 19-yard Gore run, Dixon would push his way into the end zone on his one-yard rush.
Down 20-6, a 75-yard Dolphins drive showed they’re a pretty good team, with their five wins not indicative of their competitiveness.
Needing a touchdown on 4th-and goal from the 3-yard line, rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill would find tight end Anthony Fasano for the touchdown. Fasano made a highlight reel play, catching the ball, keeping his body in bounds for the score.
Leading by just a touchdown, the 49ers needed to keep the ball until the two-minute warning which then would allow them to run out the clock.
But on 3rd-and 5 from midfield, Kaepernick called his own number on the read option and scored on a 50-yard run to the delight of Candlestick faithful who savored the win, ensuring the 49ers of another winning season.
Post-Game Audio: 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick