Florida Gators

Rapid Recap- Gators offense comes to life in win over Vandy

Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire


In what was expected to be a tough game for the University of Florida, the Gators showed why they deserve to still be ranked #21. Florida defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores at home by a score of 38-24.

It marks the first time in three years that a game between these two teams has been decided by more than a touchdown. Florida also ties the FBS record for scoring in 365 straight games

The Gators running game finally got on track against the Commodores. Florida’s offense did not have a rushing touchdown from any of its running backs so far this year. The ground game for Florida exploded for four touchdowns between backs Lamical Perine and freshman Malik Davis. Perine was able to find the end zone three times, marking the first time since Jeff Driskel in 2012 that a Florida player had three rushing touchdowns in a game.

The game began as a shootout between Vanderbilt QB Kyle Shurmur and the Gators Luke Del Rio, who started over Feleipe Franks. While Shurmur went 0-4 to start the game, he eventually picked up his production finishing the game going 18-40 with 264 yards and three touchdowns.

Del Rio started this game strong connecting with his receivers to go 7-11 with 64 yards before being knocked out of the game with a left shoulder injury. This is the same shoulder that was surgically repaired in the offseason.

Enter Feleipe Franks. The freshman came in and made an immediate impact in the Florida passing game. He connected with Tyrie Cleveland on a similar 49-yard post route late in the second quarter to move the Gators into field goal range. That big play allowed Eddy Pineiro to kick his only field goal of the game as Florida tied the score up at 17 heading into halftime.

We had written that this game had “trap” written all over it and for 30 minutes it looked like it.

After halftime, it was all Florida and there was nothing the Vanderbilt defense could do about it. The Gators came out of the locker room with a new mentality as they began to make finish drives in the end zone.

On their second possession of the half, Florida drove all the way from their own 27 yard line for for Davis to scurry in for a one yard touchdown run to take a 24-17 lead. They followed that drive with a 65 yard drive to extend their lead to 31-17. On that drive, Franks connected on a tipped pass to Freddie Swain to bring the Gators to Vanderbilt’s 2 yard line to set up Perine’s third TD of the game.

The Gators would continue to make stops on defense as Vanderbilt tried to claw back into the 14-point deficit. They were able to cut the lead to 7 when Shurmur found Nathan Marcus open in the end zone to bring the score to 31-24. On the Gators final offensive drive, they were attempting to run the clock down when Davis founds a hole on the right side of the offensive line. After breaking a tackle, the freshman Davis was off to the races as he scored a 39 yard touchdown.

While it seemed head coach Jim McElwain would’ve rather seen him go down to run the clock out, he was still pleased with putting more points on the board.

The Gators improve to 3-1 and 3-0 in conference play.

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