FINAL: No. 18 Florida Gators rout Vanderbilt Commodores
Nothing like playing Vanderbilt to cure what ails SEC teams.
No. 18 Florida bounced back from last week's disheartening loss at Kentucky to punish Vanderbilt 42-0 Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Florida (4-2, 2-2 SEC) will play at LSU next week, a better test for the Gators.
The Gators have defeated the Commodores (2-4, 0-2) 30 of the last 31 meetings in the series. Vandy has lost 15 consecutive games in league play.
Jones finishes with 313 total yards and four TDs. Nay'Quan Wright and Dameon Pierce combine for 176 yards and Jacob Copeland leads team with five catches for 79 yards.
Jones completed 14 of 22 passes for 273 yards, with TD passes to Ja’Quavion Fraziars, Trent Whittemore, Pierce and Copeland. Pierce also scored twice more on short runs.
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Florida 42, Vanderbilt 0
Vanderbilt 0 0 0 0—0
Florida 14 7 21 0—42
FLA_D.Pierce 1 run (Christmann kick), 11:16.
FLA_Fraziars 5 pass from Jones (Christmann kick), 5:23.
FLA_Whittemore 9 pass from Jones (Christmann kick), 3:55.
FLA_D.Pierce 61 pass from Jones (Christmann kick), 12:07.
FLA_Copeland 25 pass from Jones (Christmann kick), 10:26.
FLA_D.Pierce 1 run (Christmann kick), 8:46.
First downs 18 18
Total Net Yards 287 479
Rushes-yards 34-88 34-181
Passing 199 298
Punt Returns 1-10 4-26
Kickoff Returns 1-17 1-17
Interceptions Ret. 2--3 2-15
Comp-Att-Int 24-45-2 18-28-2
Sacked-Yards Lost 3-16 0-0
Punts 6-392 4-50.0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 3-35 8-80
Time of Possession 36:10 23:37
RUSHING_Vanderbilt, P.Smith 17-75, Griffin 9-12, Boddie 2-10, M.Wright 3-6, Seals 3-(minus 15). Florida, Wright 7-46, Jones 5-40, Crawshaw 1-28, Bowman 5-21, Lingard 3-13, Pierce 7-12, Richardson 5-11, Wells 1-10.
PASSING_Vanderbilt, Seals 22-43-2-192, M.Wright 2-2-0-7. Florida, Jones 14-22-1-273, Richardson 4-6-1-25.
RECEIVING_Vanderbilt, Boddie 5-49, Pierce 5-25, Johnson 4-49, Sheppard 4-45, P.Smith 3-14, Bresnahan 2-10, Griffin 1-7. Florida, Copeland 5-79, Whittemore 3-42, Wright 2-57, Fraziars 2-10, Pierce 1-61, Wells 1-19, Henderson 1-10, Lingard 1-9, Shorter 1-9, Zipperer 1-2.
MISSED FIELD GOALS_Vanderbilt, Bulovas 41, Bulovas 39, Bulovas 33.
Florida running back Malik Davis, defensive back Kaiir Elam and kicker Chris Howard are not dressed to play. Left tackle Michael Tarquin started in place of Richard Gouraige, who is not dressed out. Freshman Jason Marshall Jr. started his third consecutive game in place of Elam. Davis is a tad banged up and will return next week, per SEC Network.
12:14 p.m. | Gators score first
Dameon Pierce scores on a 1-yard run to cap 8-play, 78-yard drive at the 11:16 mark.
1 p.m. | Gators' first-quarter analysis
What went right: Florida’s first two possessions, which both resulted in touchdowns. Emory Jones marched 78 yards in eight plays on the opening drive, including a 32-yard pass to Trent Whittemore and a 34-yard run by Nay’Quan Wright to set up Dameon Pierce’s sixth score of the season. UF took over at the Vandy 49 after a six-yard punt and Jones coveted a fourth-and-1 with a 16-yard run before throwing his second TD pass to Ja’Quavion Fraziars in as many weeks. The Gators’ defense also forced two three-and-outs in the quarter and the ’Dores missed a 39-yard field goal attempt.
What went wrong: Florida’s third and fourth offensive possessions. Vandy's Brayden DeVault-Smith hit UF backup quarterback Anthony Richardson on his first pass attempt and Elijah McAllister came down with the interception. The Gators went back to Richardson on the ensuing series, but his third-down conversion run was negated by an illegal formation penalty.
Play of the quarter: Wright’s 34-yard run to the half-yard line, which featured a nasty juke move.
Trending: Wright, who will have a bigger workload today with Malik Davis out of the lineup.
— Zach Abolverdi
2:04 p.m. | Gators' second-quarter analysis
What went right: Florida’s defense forced a turnover for the second consecutive game. After back-to-back punts following Richardson’s interception, the Gators came up with a pick of their own. With quarterback Ken Seals being hurried by Brenton Cox Jr., Daquan Newkirk snagged Seals’ pass and returned it seven yards to the UF 40. Following a 51-yard reception by Nay’Quan Wright, Jones tossed a nine-yard touchdown to Trent Whittemore.
What went wrong: Despite Newkirk’s interception and the goal-line stand, the defense had trouble making stops after two three-and-outs in the first quarter. The Commodores converted four of their seven third-down attempts in the second and outgained UF in total yards, 144-95.
Play of the quarter: Wright’s impressive catch-and-run, the second 50-yard reception of his career.
Trending: Wright, who led all ball carriers with 43 yards on five carries along with his big play in the passing game.
— Zach Abolverdi
3 p.m. | Gators' third-quarter analysis
What went right: The Gators went up 28-0 less than three minutes into the second half when a wide-open Dameon Pierce hauled in Emory Jones’ pass and dashed 61 yards untouched into the end zone. UF needed just two receptions for 72 yards by Jacob Copeland on the next drive to make it 35-0. Trey Dean’s interception set up Pierce’s one-yard rush two plays later, putting UF up 42-nothing.
What went wrong: Emory Jones’ interception, his first turnover of the day, with just over four minutes remaining in the quarter gave the ‘Dores another scoring opportunity, though Bulovas missed his third field-goal attempt of the afternoon to keep Vanderbilt scoreless.
Play of the quarter: Copeland’s 25-yard touchdown reception was impressive and another reminder of why he’s considered the team’s top target in the pass game. The Pensacola native caught the ball at the line of scrimmage and made three defenders miss en route to the end zone.
Trending: The ‘Dores have the ball as the fourth quarter gets underway, so the UF defense has 15 minutes remaining to preserve the shutout.
— Graham Hall
3:30 p.m. | Gators fourth-quarter analysis
What went right: Florida essentially ran out the clock in the fourth quarter. On the only two drives of the final period, UF rushed the football 13 times for 45 yards. Redshirt freshman quarterback Anthony Richardson attempted just two passes in the fourth quarter as UF got out of the contest with the shutout and without incurring further damage from an injury perspective.
What went wrong: Xzavier Henderson’s muffed punt return likely didn’t reassure anyone after the play of Florida’s special teams unit was complicit in both of UF’s defeats thus far this season.
Play of the quarter: Demarkcus Bowman’s 11-yard rush was the Gators’ only play that went for double-digit yardage in the final quarter, so it gets the nods here in a rather anticlimactic finish.
— Graham Hall