Florida Gators Take Care of Business At Home, Defeat Vanderbilt 38-24
By Scott Carter, Florida Gators Senior Writer // September 30, 2017
Host LSU Saturday, Oct. 7 on Homecoming
ABOVE VIDEO: Vanderbilt vs Florida Full Game Highlights. (MLG Highlights Video)
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA (Florida Gators) – The No. 21-ranked Gators did not need any late-game heroics on Saturday afternoon against Vanderbilt.
Florida (3-1, 3-0) dominated the second half on the way to a 38-24 victory over the Commodores (3-2, 0-2). The game was tied 17-17 at halftime but the Gators grinded up Vanderbilt’s defense after the break on the way to their third consecutive win to start conference play.
Florida out-gained Vanderbilt 467-310 and controlled possession 12 minutes more (36 minutes to 24).
Sophomore running back Lamical Perine rushed for three touchdowns and freshman Malik Davis added two more rushing scores as the Gators overcame the loss of quarterback Luke Del Rio, who suffered a shoulder/collar bone injury in the second quarter and was replaced by Feleipe Franks. Del Rio made his first start of the season and led the Gators on a pair of scoring drives in the first half.
Franks led two scoring drives after halftime as he moved back into the lineup after Del Rio replaced him in last week’s win at Kentucky.
For the Florida Gators instant recap/analysis of today’s game, here is The Quick Slant:
WHAT IT MEANS: Del Rio knew he was hurt as soon as he dropped to the ground on a hit from Vanderbilt defensive lineman Dare Odeyingbo. Making his first start since last season’s loss at Arkansas, Del Rio was 7 of 11 for 64 yards prior to his departure. It’s a tough break for Del Rio, who has offseason surgery to repair his left and right shoulders and provided a boost to the offense in his brief time on the field this season. HIs status for the rest of the season remains uncertain but head coach Jim McElwain has a press conference coming up shortly.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Vanderbilt running back Ralph Webb needed only 82 yards to move up to 15th on the SEC’s career-rushing list. You had to like Webb’s chances considering in three career games against the Gators, Webb had rushed for 311 yards on 62 carries. The Gators stuffed the Gainesville native on Saturday, limiting Webb to 29 yards on 11 carries. The Gators out-rushed Vanderbilt 218 yards to 46.
STAGGERING STATISTIC: The Gators scored early to take a 7-0 lead on Perine’s 1-yard run midway in the first quarter. Normally, an early score is not that big a deal. However, this time it marked the Gators’ 365th consecutive game without being shut out, which ties Michigan’s all-time mark set from 1984-2014. Florida has not been blanked since a 16-0 home loss to Auburn on Oct. 29, 1988.
SUBPLOT: Franks is back at quarterback after his benching last week at Kentucky. He looked better than he did in any of his previous three starts. Franks finished 10 of 14 for 185 yards and his 49-yard pass to Tyrie Cleveland late in the first half set up kicker Eddy Pineiro’s 21-yard field goal to tie the game 17-all on the final play of the first half. Cleveland had to leave the game in the second half with a foot injury.
UP NEXT: The Gators host LSU in a much-anticipated conference game. The game is the second of three in a row at home for the Gators and a rematch of last year’s matchup in Baton Rouge that was scheduled for ‘The Swamp’ but was moved to Tiger Stadium due to Hurricane Matthew threatening the Sunshine State. The Gators won to clinch a second consecutive SEC East title.
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