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Florida Gators, led by Kyle Trask, beat Vanderbilt

Robbie Andreu
Gator Sports
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 3:30 p.m. | Gators beat Commodores

NASHVILLE — The No. 5 Florida Gators, led by Kyle Trask, kepr Vanderbilt winless Saturday.

The Gators, now 6-1, are solidly in control in the SEC East and have only sub-.500 opponents for the remainder of the coronavirus-altered regular season.

Vanderbilt (0-7) kept Trask for extending his streak of  at least 4 TD throws in consecutive games to just three. He finished by completing 26 of 35 passes for 383 yards.

The Gators will next host Kentucky at 12 p.m. next Saturday.

Vanderbilt running back Keyon Henry-Brooks (21) runs with the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)
Vanderbilt quarterback Ken Seals (8) is brought down by Florida linebacker Andrew Chatfield Jr. (10) during the first quarter at Vanderbilt Stadium Saturday in Nashville, Tenn.

No. 5 Florida 38, Vanderbilt 17

Florida              7     10     14   7  — 38

Vanderbilt       10       0      7    0  — 17

First Quarter

VAN_C.Pierce 16 pass from Seals (Cooke kick), 10:50.

FLA_Toney 27 pass from Trask (McPherson kick), 7:47.

VAN_FG Cooke 25, 2:45.

Second Quarter

FLA_FG McPherson 33, 4:13.

FLA_Grimes 34 pass from Trask (McPherson kick), :49.

Third Quarter

FLA_D.Pierce 1 run (McPherson kick), 9:47.

FLA_Gamble 2 pass from Trask (McPherson kick), 2:55.

VAN_C.Pierce 58 pass from Seals (Cooke kick), 2:01.

Fourth Quarter

FLA_Gamble 30 pass from Jones (McPherson kick), 6:46.

                                   FLA        VAN

First downs                    29           21

Rushes-yards             40-173       34-87

Passing                       413            319

Comp-Att-Int             27-36-0        22-34-1

Return Yards              81                    0

Punts-Avg.               2-44.5              6-38.0

Fumbles-Lost               1-1               0-0

Penalties-Yards              6-46            4-30

Time of Possession           34:17        25:43


RUSHING_Florida, D.Pierce 11-55, M.Davis 8-38, Jones 4-25, N.Wright 8-24, Lingard 2-17, Trask 4-7, Grimes 1-4, Toney 1-3, Clement 1-0. Vanderbilt, Pryor 13-44, Marlow 13-38, Griffin 5-25, Seals 3-(minus 20).

PASSING_Florida, Jones 1-1-0-30, Trask 26-35-0-383. Vanderbilt, Seals 22-34-1-319.

RECEIVING_Florida, Toney 6-107, Shorter 5-94, Copeland 5-56, Gamble 3-66, Grimes 3-44, M.Davis 2-20, Henderson 1-15, D.Pierce 1-6, N.Wright 1-5. Vanderbilt, C.Johnson 7-93, Abdur-Rahman 5-60, C.Pierce 4-97, Bresnahan 3-45, Sheppard 1-24, Pryor 1-8, G.Miller 1-(minus 8).




What went right: The defense held Vanderbilt scoreless in the fourth quarter, while UF’s offense accrued 154 yards and a touchdown to put the Commodores away. Emory Jones entered for Trask, and his lone passing attempt resulted in a 30-yard touchdown to Kemore Gamble. 

What went wrong: Kadarius Toney’s fumble at the top of the quarter was the lone lowlight in an unspectacular yet decisive final period of play. 

Play of the quarter: Give it to Gamble here on the touchdown from Jones, because it gave Florida’s reserve tight end two scores on the day. With Kyle Pitts still out, Gamble and Keon Zipperer have stepped up for Florida’s offense as of late, and Gamble’s third career touchdown showed why UF isn’t hesitating to target the tight end in his absence. 

— Graham Hall

The Gators take over at their own 10 with 3:56 remaining.

Kaiir Elam intercepts Seals in the end zone.

 3:10 p.m. | Emory Jones gets in act

Emory Jones completes a 30-yard TD to Gamble for a 38-17 lead with 6:46 remaining to cap a 99-yard drive in six plays. That's a pair of scores by Gamble today.

UF has scored 35-plus points in nine consecutive games, a school record. UF did it eight consecutive games in 2008 and 1996.

Trask completes to Kemore Gamble for 34 yards to the Florida 35 to get out of trouble.

Vanderbilt's Harrison Smith punts 38s and it is downed at the UF 1 with 10:01 remaining.

Vandy goes for it at midfield on fourth-and-2. Seals completes pass for a first down to tight end Ben Bresnahan for 14 yards to the UF 39.

The announced attendance at Vanderbilt Stadium is 1,147.

 2:52 p.m. | Vandy recovers fumble

Toney fumbles and recovered by Vandy De'Rickey Wright at the Commodores 22.


What went right: After an up-and-down first half, the Gators came out of the halftime break firing on all cylinders offensively. Short yardage touchdowns by Kemore Gamble and Dameon Pierce gave UF a three-score lead just prior to the final period of play. Kyle Trask completed nine of 11 passes for 130 yards to give him 330 passing yards on the afternoon.

What went wrong: After taking a 21-point lead, the Gators gave up another big play. Chris Pierce’s 56-yard touchdown reception erased the impressive preceding drive by the Gators and raised more questions about Florida's secondary and its tendency to allow the opposition to gain huge chunks of yardage.

Play of the quarter: Kyle Trask’s 46-yard completion to Justin Shorter was further example of the signal caller’s excellence, and it set up Gamble’s 2-yard touchdown several plays later to give UF a commanding 31-10 lead after Evan McPherson’s extra point. After a rough start defensively, the Gators are confident and rolling, and the Trask-to-Shorter throw was evidence of it. 

Trending: Florida is driving inside Vanderbilt territory as the Gators look to retake their three-touchdown advantage. 

— Graham Hall

 2:41 p.m. | Gators can't shake 'Dores

Gators start at their 29.

A holding penalty dashed Toney's return for 58 yards to the Vandy 41.

 2:36 p.m. | Vandy not going away

 Seals complete to Chris Pierce Jr. for a 58-yard scoring pass play that saw several missed tackles by the UF secondary. Vandy now trails 31-17 with 2:01 left in the period.

 2:28 p.m. | Gators take charge

Trask hits tight end Kemore Gamble for a 2-yard TD to put UF up 31-10 with 2:55 left. The score capped a 10-play, 91-yard drive. Trask now has 10 300-yard passing games.

Trask completes to Justin Shorter for 46 yards to the Vandy 41, then to Shorter again for 13 yards to the Vandy 28.

Gators take over at their 9 after a Commodores punt with 7:29 remaining in the quarter.

 2:07 p.m. | Gators go up 24-10

Pierce runs in from a yard out to give UF a 24-10 lead at the 9:47 mark. The score capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive.

Trask pass complete to Toney for 36 yards to the Vandy 15.

Gators go for it on fourth-and-one from their own 35. Dameon Pierce gets it.

 1:43 p.m. | UF offense trending


 What went right: Despite giving up another chunk play in the passing game (35 yards) and have a pass interference call (Marco Wilson), the Gator defense shut out the Vandy offense in the quarter. The key factor there was putting steady heat on the true freshman Seals. On offense, the Gators struggled early in the quarter, but then put together a field-goal drive to tie the game 10-10 with  4:12 left in the half. Following a three-and-out by the defense, Trask and the UF passing game started to click. Trask completed two passes to Copeland for 26 yards, hooked up with Justin Shorter for 12 yards, then launched a 34-yard TD pass to Trevon Grimes, who made a leaping catch between two defenders. The TD gave the Gators a 17-10 halftime lead.

Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney (1) catches a touchdown pass against Vanderbilt in the first half Saturday in Nashville, Tenn.

 What went wrong: the offense struggled early and managed only one first down in the first half of the quarter. To defend Trask and the passing game, the Commodores crowded the secondary six, seven, sometimes eight defenders. It was almost an invitation for the Gators to run the ball. They tried, but could not make anything happen on the ground.

 Play of the quarter: The leaping touchdown reception by Grimes that gave the Gators a 17-10 lead.

 Trending: The Florida defense.

— Robbie Andreu

 1:34 p.m. | Gators lead at half

The Gators, whose only loss was at Texas A&M earlier this year, lead at the half 17-10.

 1:30 p.m. | Record Trask

Trask now owns SEC record of most TD passes through seven games at 30. The record is 29, set by UK's Tim Couch in 1997 and Trask today and matched by LSU's Joe Burrow last season. It is aslo career TD pass No. 56 for Trask. That ties him for seventh all-time in school history with another guy who had a pretty good story: Kerwin Bell (1984-87).

 1:28 p.m. | Gators go up 17-10

Trask pass complete to Trevon Grimes for 34-yard TD with :49 left, as Gators go up 17-10. After review, the ruling on the field stands.

Gators start at their own 15 following a Commodore punt with 2:33 showing on the clock.

UF linebacker Brenton Cox Jr. sacks Vandy's QB.

Florida Gator defense, led by coordinator Todd Grantham, getting worked early by Vanderbilt

 1:17 p.m. | McPherson brings UF even

Evan McPherson's 33-yard field goal again bring the Gators even at 10-10 with 4:12 remaining in the half.

Florida's defense holds off Vanderbilt and takes over at the Vanderbilt 46 following a punt.

1:01 p.m. | Vandy back to work on UF

Vanderbilt's defense is claming down on Trask and Gators' offense.

After forcing a punt, the Gators take over at their own 18 with 11:06 remaining in the half. Great play by DB Marco Wilson to break up a pass on third-and-10.

Vandy QB Ken Seals completes pass to Cam Johnson for 35 yards to the UF 44 for a first down.

 12:47 p.m. | Vandy is moving


 What went right: Kyle Trask and the offense started off hot, which is what they had to do after quickly falling behind 7-0. Trask was extremely sharp on UF’s first possession. His first two passes went to Kadarius Toney for 13 and 15 yards to get the drive started. Trask converted a big third down with a 15-yard pass to Jacob  Copeland. Two plays later, he found Toney wide open for a 27-yard touchdown pass to tie the game 7-7.

 What went wrong: Florida’s defense basically didn’t show up. The Commodores had two possessions and two scores, driving right down the field for both. The poor performance started right away, with quarterback Ken Seals carving up the secondary with relative ease on the game’s opening possession and finishing the TD drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Chris Pierce. It was more of the same after UF answered with a touchdown. Cornerback lost a battle for 50-50 ball that turned into a 27-yard completion and from there the Commodores drove inside the 10-yard line before having to settle for a 25-yard field goal and a 10-7 lead. On top of everything else, two offsides penalties on the Gators kept the second scoring drive alive.

 Play of the quarter: The 27-yard touchdown pass from Trask to Toney.

 Trending: Vanderbilt’s offense.

— Robbie Andreu

12:40 p.m. | Rare Commodores' lead

Gators moving to either tie or take the lead against the Commodores when the quarter ran out of time.

12:34 p.m.| Vandy up 10-7

The Commodores regain the lead at 10-7 with 2:45 remaining on a Pierson Cooke 25-yard field goal. The score capped a 12-play, 68-yard drive. Vandy with 138 yards and 10 points on its first two drives of game. Gators get a third-down stop inside the 10 and Vandy has to settle for a 25-yard field goal and a 10-7 lead.

12:21 p.m. |Trask at it again

Kyle Trask finds receiver Kadarius Toney by himself in the middle of the field after a Vandy DB falls down for a 27-yard TD at the 7:47 mark. Trask hooked up with Toney three times on the drive for 55 yards and the TD. Trask was extremely sharp on that 76-yard TD drive.

Florida              7

Vanderbilt       10   

12:14 p.m. | Vandy goes up

Chris Pierce Jr. catches a 16-yard pass from QB Ken Seals to cap Vandy's 11-play, 75-yard drive to open the game for the lead at the 10:50 mark. Vandy offense methodically drives down to the field for a TD to open the game. Defensive backs playing way off receivers.

Florida has allowed an opening-drive TD for the fifth time this season, most in the SEC. — Brandon Zimmerman, SEC Network

UF without four starters today against Vanderbilt. Freshman QB Anthony Richardson also did not make the trip. Linebackers James Houston and Jeremiah Moon also unavailable today. Gators really thin at LB. Gators also without starting right guard Stewart Reese.

11:57 a.m. |Gators ready to go

The Gators arrived at Vanderbilt Stadium needing to put on their cleats, coach Dan Mullen told ESPN.

Kyle Trask needs two touchdown passes to become the first SEC player to throw for 30 touchdowns in a team’s first seven games, per ESPN, @ESPNStatsInfo. The record is 29, set by UK's Tim Couch in 1997 and matched by LSU's Joe Burrow last season.   

11:00 a.m. | Network TV switch

Due to Clemson-Florida State game being postponed after medical personnel from both schools could not agree on playing, the Gators will play in a different network. The Florida at Vanderbilt will now be seen on ABC. Kickoff remains at Noon ET. The game was originally scheduled for ESPN.

10:30 a.m. |  Gators looking to stay focused against winless Vanderbilt

Coming off the big, emotional win over Georgia, there was some concern last week about the Florida Gators possibly suffering a letdown and lack of focus against Arkansas.

More:Five things to know about Florida-Vanderbilt game

Florida at Vanderbilt Pregame Notebook:Gators look for 7th straight win vs. Commodores

But not really a serious concern. With former teammate and starting UF quarterback Feleipe Franks leading the Razorbacks into The Swamp, it pretty much assured the players would be physically and emotionally invested in getting ready for the game.

This week, different story. Much different story.

Saturday's game helmet
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