Well, so much for a “throw away” game.
Despite coming away with a 38-17 win, the sixth-ranked Florida Gators didn’t quite have the performance they were expecting against the winless Vanderbilt Commodores.
Coming in, the Gators were favored by over 30 points and were expected to score early and often.
That was not what happened. In fact, the all-white clad Gators did not gain the lead against the scrappy home team until a mere 49 seconds left in the first half.
Though Florida’s defense gave up ten points and 209 total yards in the first half, most of those yards were surrendered in the first quarter. Fortunately for the Gators, their defense tightened up and held the Commodores to no points in the second period.
Then came the final three minutes of the quarter. As is habit for the Gators this season, their two-minute offense to end the halfwas elite. Trask deftly marched the visiting favorites 85 yards down the field in 7 plays and finished the drive with a long touchdown pass to a fully-extended wide receiver Trevon Grimes — all 6’5” of him.
Florida then got the ball to start the third quarter and proceeded to drive 75 yards in 12 plays and score on a one-yard Dameon Pierce touchdown run. While the white-domed Gators did have to convert a 4th-and-1 deep on their side of the field, Mullen chose to be aggressive and the offense rewarded him by finishing the drive and extending the lead to 14.
But, it wasn’t all smooth sailing from there. The Gators would allow Vanderbilt to score a 58-yard passing touchdown to Chris Pierce later in the third as well as fumble the ball to the ‘Dores in the fourth while only up two scores. Mercifully, Florida’s defense held and the offense would start their final scoring drive on the Gators 1-yard line. Aided by two long passes to Kemor Gamble, the Gators would extend their lead to 21 points on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Emory Jones.
On Vanderbilt’s ensuing drive, cornerback Kaiir Elam picked off Kenny Seals in the end zone. On the final possession, the Gators would run out the clock as Trask finished the game 26 of 35, for 383 yards and 3 touchdowns. This ties him with Joe Burrow for the most passing touchdowns among SEC quarterbacks through seven games and ends his streak of games with four or more touchdowns at six. The Gators would outgain the Commodores 586 to 406 in total yardage.
The Gators will look to have a more complete performance against the always-tricky Kentucky Wildcats next week.
The Gators move to 1-3 wearing the all-white uniforms since 2009.
Florida has now gone 9 straight games and 7 straight SEC matchups with 35+ points scored.
Kicker Evan McPherson made a 33-yard field goal in the second quarter.
Kadarius Toney made 6 receptions for 107 yards, 1 touchdown, and the aforementioned fumble.