Vandy whips Florida, ends 22-game losing skid to UF


Florida Gators quarterback Tyler Murphy (3) gets rid of the football while being tackled, resulting in a intentional grounding call, during the second half against Vanderbilt in Gainesville Saturday, November 9, 2013.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 5:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 7:16 p.m.

One streak ended and another is hanging by a thread for the Florida football team.

The Gators saw their 22-game winning streak over Vanderbilt end with a 34-17 loss on Homecoming. Florida, now 4-5, will have to win two of three games against South Carolina, Georgia Southern and Florida State to find its way to bowl eligibility for the 22nd straight year.

Coach Will Muschamp’s team is also looking at the real possibility of the first losing record for a Florida football team since 1979’s 0-10-1.

“Certainly, I don’t like the product we’re putting on the football field,” Muschamp said. “Nobody’s more let down than me. We’ll get this thing turned around, I assure you.”

The Gators outgained the Commodores 344 yards to 188 and had 26 first downs to Vandy’s 12. But four turnovers by quarterback Tyler Murphy were fatal to Florida’s chances to break its losing streak, which stands at four.

“I let my team down a little bit,” said Murphy, who had three interceptions and a fumble.

The three interceptions gave Vanderbilt (5-4) scoring drives of 10, 22 and four yards.

“We’re not good enough to overcome critical mistakes like that,” Muschamp said. “Emotionally, it takes the wind out of your sails.”

Florida tried to claw back into the game with a 75-yard touchdown drive that ended with a five-yard scoring run by Kelvin Taylor. But the Gator defense responded by allowing Vanderbilt to drive 87 yards for the clinching touchdown.

The loss was the worst for the Gators since a 36-14 loss to Alabama in 2011, and it was the second-most points a Vanderbilt team has ever scored on Florida (42 in 2005’s double-overtime game).

It was also the first time Vanderbilt has beaten Florida and Georgia in the same season.

Florida will travel to Columbia, S.C., next week to face South Carolina.

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