Grading the Florida Gators' embarrassing loss to Vanderbilt: lt was a sloppy mess

David Whitley
Gator Sports

Here are our grades for Florida's loss at Vanderbilt Saturday in Nashville.

Offense: C minus

Throwing for 400 yards was impressive. Running for 45 was not. That was a shockingly bad rushing performance from a team that had been plowing over defenses.

The offensive line didn’t open many holes for Montrell Johnson or Trevor Etienne. More curiously, the third prong in UF’s rushing attack rarely attempted to run. That would be Anthony Richardson, who usually gets in a better passing rhythm when runs are mixed in.

AR made some nice throws, but his bazooka arm also had the usual misfires. Losing Ricky Pearsall to injury hurt, but UF may have found something in Daejon Reynolds, who had eight catches for 165 yards.

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Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson attempts to complete a pass as he is tackled during the first half of Saturday's loss to Vanderbilt in Nashville.

Defense: C minus

Florida held Vanderbilt to a so-so 283 yards, but the Gators couldn’t stop the Commodores in too many critical spots. Vandy converted seven of 13 third-down attempts.

Quarterback Mike Wright completed only 10 passes, but three were for TDs. Ray Davis (122 yards on 30 carries) was a problem UF couldn’t solve.

Ventrell Miller was a beast until he was thrown out for targeting in the fourth quarter. The defense played pretty well without him, but overall, it didn’t look much like the one that had clamped down on Texas A&M and South Carolina.

Special Teams: D minus

The positive: Jeremy Crawshaw averaged 46.3 yards on three punts. The negative: Almost everything else.

Vandy averaged 31 yards on two kick returns. Adam Mihalek missed his first extra point of the season, and it could have been a crucial one. Worst of all, Jason Marshall Jr. muffed a punt at the 5-yard line that Vandy recovered for a TD. He was filling in for Ricky Pearsall, who was filling in for Xzavier Henderson. The lack of practice showed.

It was far from the first time UF’s “GameChanger” special teams changed a game in the wrong direction.