10/13: Florida at Vanderbilt post-game report

No. 4/6 Florida Gators football (6-0, 5-0 SEC) kept the positive momentum going on Saturday with a 31-17 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-4, 1-3 SEC) at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, TN. The Gators became bowl eligible with the victory and matched their win total from the 2011 regular season while getting off to the team’s best start since 2009. Florida head coach Will Muschamp spoke with the media and provided some of his thoughts after the game.

HISTORY / STREAKS / NOTES

» Florida now holds a 22-game winning streak against Vanderbilt including 21-straight in the annual series dating back to 1992. Those 21-straight wins rank second-longest nationally in an uninterrupted series (UF’s 26-in-a-row over Kentucky ranks first).
» The Gators have started the season 6-0 for the first time since 2009.
» UF is 11-1 against unranked opponents and 2-5 against ranked teams since Muschamp took over the program in 2011.
» Florida is 9-0 under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards and 0-4 when rushing for fewer than 100 yards. UF is also 10-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points and 8-3 when scoring first.
» The Gators had been converting 41.7 percent of their third-down attempts this season but went just 2-of-11 (18.1 percent) against the Commodores.
» Florida had been holding opponents to 25.3 percent on third-down conversions but allowed Vanderbilt to convert 7-of-17 attempts (41.2 percent) on Saturday.
» UF out-possessed opponents by an average of 10:38 through five games but let VU win the possession battle by 6:20.
» The Gators are outscoring opponents 98-23 in the second half and 54-10 in the fourth quarter. The Commodores’ 10 fourth-quarter points on Saturday were the first UF has allowed all season.
» Florida had not allowed a touchdown in nine-straight quarters before Vanderbilt scored on on its opening drive Saturday.
» The Gators are +7 in turnover margin through five games after being -12 in 2011. UF has forced the most turnovers in the SEC (329) since 2000.
» Florida did not grab an interception for the first time this season.
» Vanderbilt sold out a home football game for the first time since 2008.

INJURY UPDATES

Redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins (hamstring), who was expected to be active for the game, was indeed dressed but did not play as his injury gave him issues. Muschamp believes he will be fine for the South Carolina game.

Redshirt senior left guard James Wilson, who had started all five games this season, injured his eye in practice on Wednesday and could not make the trip, Muschamp explained. He is expected to miss practice on Monday, return Tuesday and be able to play against USC.

Junior defensive end Dominique Easley, who tore his ACL last season and has experienced swelling in his knee throughout the season, had more again this weekend and did not dress for the game. He should also be able to play next week.

Five players got injured on Saturday. Senior left tackle Xavier Nixon (upper body), redshirt junior center James Harrison (arm), freshman wide receiver Latroy Pittman (ankle), freshman tight end Kent Taylor (ankle) and redshirt junior TE Jordan Reed (eye/head) all got hurt with Reed the only one to return to the game. Muschamp did not have more extensive updates on the players but said he would on Monday.

“I’m extremely pleased to be able to rush for that many yards and have three starting offensive linemen down. That says a lot about our guys stepping up and ‘man down and man up,'” Muschamp said, pointing to freshman LT D.J. Humphries, redshirt sophomore LG Ian Silberman and senior senior C Sam Robey. “When you run for 300 yards, you’ve done something right. Very pleased with those guys stepping up and doing a nice job for us.”

Read the rest of what Muschamp had to say…after the break!
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QB Jeff Driskel’s 177 yards, three touchdowns lead No. 4/6 Florida over Vanderbilt 31-17

The Vanderbilt Commodores gave the No. 4/6 Florida Gators everything they could handle on Saturday night at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, TN, but it simply was not enough to pull off the upset as Florida (6-0, 5-0 SEC) always had an answer for Vanderbilt (2-4, 1-3 SEC) and picked up a hard-fought 31-17 victory.

The Gators out-rushed the Commodores 327-126 in an effort led by Florida sophomore Jeff Driskel, who scored three rushing touchdowns and bested Tim Tebow by setting a school single-game record for a quarterback with 177 rushing yards.

Vanderbilt got on the board first, completing a six-play, 66-yard drive that resulted in quarterback Jordan Rodgers’s first touchdown pass since the second week of the season. The Commodores benefited from a 15-yard penalty at the beginning of the drive when kick-catch interference was called on Gators sophomore cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy for hitting the punt returner too soon after he caught the ball.

Purifoy then got beat by wide receiver Chris Boyd for a 37-yard reception, and Florida junior safety Matt Elam was leapt over in the end zone three plays later as WR Jordan Matthews hauled in the touchdown. It was the first touchdown UF had given up in nine quarters dating back to the Tennessee game in week three.

The Gators finally registered some points on their first possession of the second quarter. Florida took over at its own nine yard line and put together an 11-play, 91-yard drive to score its first points of the game. Senior running back Mike Gillislee tallied 27 yards on the possession, but it was sophomore QB Jeff Driskel who scampered 37 yards down the left sideline for the touchdown.

UF then decided to go for two and converted as junior RB Trey Burton took a keeper into the end zone on a spread-out formation to give the Gators an early 8-7 lead.

Read the rest of the Florida-Vanderbilt story…after the break!
Continue Reading » QB Jeff Driskel’s 177 yards, three touchdowns lead No. 4/6 Florida over Vanderbilt 31-17

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Gameday: No. 4/6 Florida Gators at Vanderbilt

Location: Vanderbilt Stadium – Nashville, TN [Capacity: 40,550]
Weather Forecast: 73°F, partly cloudy, winds SSE at 11 mph
Time: 6:00 p.m. EDT

Tickets: Starting at $98 on TiqIQ

TV: ESPNU (Clay Matvick, Matt Stinchcomb, Tom Luginbill)
SiriusXM: 129 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper

No. 4/6 FLORIDA GATORS VANDERBILT COMMODORES
Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: James Franklin
Record: 5-0 (4-0 SEC) Record: 2-3 (1-2 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -9, O/U 41

HOMEWORK

Need to catch up on what has been going on with the Gators over the last week? No problem. OGGOA has been here the whole time posting a ton of information so you can do your homework on the team before its next exam on Saturday.

Improvement evident but Gators can get better | Pease impressed with offense’s execution | Muschamp looking for improvement in return game | Franklin fawns over Florida | Team effort fueling Gators defense

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida leads Vanderbilt 34-9-2 in the all-time series but is just 15-7-1 in games played in Nashville. The two teams have played consecutively every year since 1992; the Gators are undefeated (20-0) in those games and hold a 21-game winning streak overall, outscoring the Commodores by an average of 21.9 points per game in that span.
» The two teams will square off in the month of October for the first time since 1989. The last time UF lost to VU (1988) was also the last time the teams went head-to-head in the month of October in Nashville.
» Vanderbilt’s five-point loss to Florida last season was the closest game between the two teams since 2002 (21-17 UF).
» UF is 10-1 against unranked opponents and 2-5 against ranked teams since Muschamp took over the program in 2011.
» The Gators have started the season 5-0 for the first time since 2009.
» Last week, Florida defeated a ranked opponent at home for the first time since Nov. 15, 2008 and beat an SEC West time in Gainesville for the first time since Oct. 17, 2009.
» The Gators were 0-5 when trailing at the half in 2011 but have started the 2012 season 3-0 in that category with all three victories vs. SEC opponents (two ranked).
» Florida is 8-0 under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards and 0-4 when rushing for fewer than 100 yards. UF is also 9-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points and 8-3 when scoring first.
» The Gators have scored on 15-of-16 red zone trips (93.8 percent) but have only converted 10-of-16 possessions (62.5 percent) into touchdowns.
» Florida has converted 30-of-72 of its third-down attempts (41.7 percent) this season.
» The Gators have held their opponents to 19-of-75 on third down conversions (25.3 percent), which is good for fourth-best in the nation. UF was second nationally in third-down defense (27.3 percent) last season.
» Florida is out-possessing opponents by an average of 10:38 through five games, a margin that ranks second nationally.
» The Gators are outscoring opponents 78-13 in the second half and 41-0 in the fourth quarter. UF is the only team in the nation that has not allowed a fourth-quarter point.
» Florida has not allowed a touchdown in nine-straight quarters and is sixth in scoring defense nationally (11.40 points per game).
» The Gators are +6 in turnover margin through five games after being -12 in 2011. UF has forced the most turnovers in the SEC (328) since 2000.
» Florida has grabbed seven interceptions so far in 2012 (three games with two each) and is already closing in on its 2011 total of eight picks. UF has registered at least one pick in all five games.
» The Gators are second nationally in pass efficiency defense.
» Florida has at least two kickoff returns for touchdowns in each of the last two seasons after never having more than one in a single season before 2010. UF has not yet registered one in 2012.
» Vanderbilt is averaging 121.8 more yards of total offense than a year ago at this time and is holding opponents to 70.8 fewer rushing yards per game.
» The Commodores have sold out a home football game for the first time since 2008.
» Franklin has more wins in two seasons than any Vanderbilt head coach since 1991.

LAST TIME OUT

What looked like a one-sided affair at the half quickly became a hard-fought game as Florida coughed up its game-high 17-point halftime lead but still hung on to take down Vanderbilt 26-21 in Gainesville, FL. The Gators ended a four-game 2011 losing streak on the back of running back Jeff Demps, who took 23 carries for 158 yards and scored two of UF’s three touchdowns on the day (one a 52-yard dash late in the fourth quarter). VU quarterback Jordan Rodgers was responsible for all three of the Commodores’ second-half touchdowns, tossing two (one with 1:16 left in the game) and running for another. Vanderbilt tried an onside kick following that score but was unable to recover as Florida ran out the clock and earned the victory.

Read the rest of the Florida-Vanderbilt preview including injuries and absences and which players to look out for from both sidelines.
Continue Reading » Gameday: No. 4/6 Florida Gators at Vanderbilt

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Gators return to Top 25 after rout of ‘Dores

Ending a three-game loosing streak last week that had previously knocked them out of every Top 25 poll, the Florida Gators (6-3, 4-3 SEC) continued their progression upward with a 55-14 beat down of the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-7, 1-5 SEC) on Saturday at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, TN. On Sunday, Florida reentered both the USA Today and Associated Press Top 25 polls. Out of the top 25 for the first time under head coach Urban Meyer after their loss to Mississippi State, the Gators did receive votes in both polls last week.

WeekResultBCSUSA TodayAssociated Press
Preseason--No. 10 (930)No. 10 (894)
2W 24-6 vs. Toledo-No. 9 (974)No. 12 (875)
3L 16-21 at Miami-No. 20 (410)No. 18 (405)
4Open-No. 18 (398)No. 19 (412)
5W 31-17 vs. Tennessee-No. 19 (449)No. 20 (414)
6W 24-7 at Kentucky-No. 19 (515)No. 18 (481)
7W 30-10 vs. Arkansas-No. 17 (574)No. 17 (536)
8L 6-17 at LSU-No. 22 (240)No. 22 (249)
9L 17-36 at Missouri-NR (4)NR (17)

USA TODAY
Last Week 1-25: Oregon (51), Auburn (4), Boise State (3), TCU (1), Alabama, Utah, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, LSU, Stanford, Arizona, Missouri, Michigan State, Iowa, South Carolina, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, Baylor, Nevada, Florida State, North Carolina State
*Florida received four votes.

This Week 1-25: Oregon (50), Auburn (4), TCU (2), Boise State (3), Wisconsin, LSU, Ohio State, Nebraska, Stanford, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Iowa, Arkansas, Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, Arizona, Missouri, Nevada, South Carolina, Central Florida, Florida, Texas A&M

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Last Week 1-25: Oregon (49), Boise State (7), Auburn (2), TCU (2), Alabama, Utah, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Nebraska, Stanford, Oklahoma, LSU, Arizona, Missouri, Iowa, Michigan State, Arkansas, South Carolina, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, Baylor, North Carolina State, Florida State, Nevada
*Florida received two votes.

This Week 1-25: Oregon (49), Auburn (2), TCU (2), Boise State (7), LSU, Wisconsin, Stanford, Ohio State, Nebraska, Michigan State, Alabama, Oklahoma State, Iowa, Arkansas, Utah, Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, Arizona, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Florida, Central Florida

BCS
Last Week 1-25: Oregon, Auburn, TCU, Boise State, Utah, Alabama, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, LSU, Ohio State, Missouri, Stanford, Michigan State, Arizona, Iowa, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Baylor, Virginia Tech, Nevada, Florida State, North Carolina State

This Week 1-25: Oregon, Auburn, TCU, Boise State, LSU, Stanford, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Alabama, Iowa, Utah, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arizona, Mississippi State, Virginia Tech, Nevada, Florida, South Carolina, Kansas State, Texas A&M

*Numbers in parenthesis represent first-place votes.

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Week 10: Gators post-game news & notes

Winning their second-straight game, this time in dominant fashion, the Florida Gators (6-3, 4-3 SEC) toppled the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-7, 1-5 SEC) 55-14 in Nashville, TN, at Vanderbilt Stadium. With so much to discuss, OGGOA presents some important notes and quotes following the contest.

RAINEY’s REDEMPTION PART II

Redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey has been one of Florida’s best performers in back-to-back games. With two blocked punts and a 40-yard touchdown reception in which he came back for an under-thrown ball, Rainey is quickly proving to head coach Urban Meyer that he has his head on straight and is ready to be a valued member of the team. “He hit rock bottom and he had one way to go,” Meyer said after the game. “Good for him. To even be on football, good for him. He’s doing much better in school and the thumb is on him real hard, so his whole work ethic has changed and everything.” He also discussed Rainey’s punt blocks. “You talk about a momentum shift. [Chris] Rainey’s a very unique, skilled athlete that can come off that edge that’s skinny like that,” he said. “Ninety percent of the time we win or are undefeated when we get a hand on a punt. Great momentum change.”

TEAM CHEMISTRY AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH

Having won their last two contests, the Gators are feeling good – especially considering one was an overtime thriller and the other was a shellacking. Meyer is pleased with how the team is currently assembled and thinks, now that most everyone is healthy, they can continue their progress. “I just like the chemistry of our team right now. The way they hang out with each other at the hotel. You see a gelling right now,” he said. “You take some good players out of your team and you don’t look as good. I’m very excited about the chemistry of our team right now. We needed this.”

Florida is feeling so good these days that, before the game was even over, players on the sidelines were talking about playing South Carolina next week for the Southeastern Conference Eastern division title. “[They were talking about it] a lot. I tried to encourage them to. I wanted the focus,” Meyer said. “We’ve learned some great lessons around here in the past of a team being ready to play a big-time game and maybe a team not being ready to go play a big-time game. So that was my whole message to them. I like the look. If they’re talking about next week’s game obviously when this one is over, it’s real clear what the focus is. [...] I think we’re finishing strong and obviously it’s championship week in Gainesville, Florida. So we’re going to get back to work as soon as we can and everybody’s excited about it.”

REED-IRECTING OFFENSE

Saturday saw the emergence of redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed as a legitimate offensive option for the Gators as he accounted for 120 yards through the air, 84 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Meyer was complimentary of Reed after the game and hopes to utilize him more as the season goes on. “He’s a freak athlete. I think we did it right. Hindsight is 20-20 how we’re pushing him into this offense,” he said. “Obviously you can see what a dynamic runner [he] is, he’s got a nice arm. We don’t have that big runner – and he gives us that. […] He’s tight end and quarterback. He’ll be a single-wing quarterback and a tight end for us.”

PLAYER STATUS UPDATES

» Freshman defensive tackle Dominique Easley: “He’s not on the travel team – just not a part of the team right now. Lot of reasons. […] He’s not part of the travel team.”
» Freshman running back Mack Brown: “He’s been having hamstrings all year, so we just didn’t want to risk it. But his attitude has been fantastic.”
» Junior RB Jeff Demps: “Jeff was available, but we wanted to be smart. He didn’t practice much this week. It was very painful on him this week. We’ll know more this week, but I’m planning on him being ready for South Carolina.”
» Redshirt sophomore DT Jaye Howard: Meyer expects him to return next week after having nursed a serious ankle injury for 2-3 weeks.

QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » Week 10: Gators post-game news & notes

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Week 10: Florida Gators at Vanderbilt Commodores

Location: Vanderbilt Stadium – Nashville, TN [Capacity: 39,790]
Weather Forecast: 47°F, sunny
Time: 12:21 p.m. (EST)

TV: SEC Network
Sirius/XM: 220/199
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

FLORIDA GATORS VANDERBILT COMMODORES
Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Robbie Caldwell
Record: 5-3 (3-3) Record: 2-6 (1-4)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -14.5; O/U 46

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Florida leads the all-time series 32-9-2 against Vanderbilt, are 13-7-1 in Nashville and have not lost this match-up since 1988, a streak of 19 consecutive victories.
» In their last three games against the Commodores, the Gators have won by an average of 26.3 points. The previous two contests were decided by an average of 6.5 points including a 49-42 double overtime victory in Meyer’s first season – 2005.
» Florida is tied for the national lead with 16 interceptions on the season. Six have been returned for more than 30 yards – three for touchdowns.
» The Gators are now 27-for-36 in the red zone in 2010 with 23 touchdowns and four field goals. Earlier this season, Florida had a run of 15 straight scores inside the red zone including 14 touchdowns.
» UF is unranked for the first time under Meyer. The Gators had been listed in every poll since he took over in 2005 until they lost to Mississippi State two weeks ago.
» For the first time in their last few games, Florida outranks their opponent in all four major statistical averages. UF is 80th in passing yards (190.9), 58th in rushing yards (153.3), 55th in points scored (28.4) and 34th in points against (20.3) compared to Vanderbilt being 110th in passing yards (114.1), 77th in rushing yards (142.6), 105th in points scored (18.3) and 78th in points against (27.9). Both fell to LSU, but UF defeated Georgia 34-31 in overtime last week, while VU fell 43-0 to them three weeks ago.
» The Gators’ offense has seen 12 different players overall score a touchdown this year – including defense and special teams.
» Florida is the only school in the nation that has four players with at least three interceptions. Overall, seven Gators have at least one interception.
» UF under Meyer is 40-1 when holding an opponent under 16 points, 29-3 when shutting an opponent out in the fourth quarter, 37-3 when holding an opponent to 35 percent or less on third down, 37-2 when giving up two or less big plays (15-yard run/25-yard pass) and 32-3 when the Gators defense scores or creates three turnovers.
» Vanderbilt defensive ends coach Mike Pelton was the defensive line coach under current Florida DL coach Dan McCarney when he was head coach of Iowa State.
» Three pairs of players were former high school teammates: Gators redshirt freshman left tackle Matt Patchan and Commodores offensive lineman Justin Cabbagestalk (Armwood – Tampa, FL), senior cornerback Moses Jenkins and defensive back Steven Clarke (Boyd H. Anderson – Lauderdale Lakes, FL), and redshirt sophomore CB Jeremy Brown and defensive end Johnell Thomas (Boone – Orlando, FL).

KEEP AN EYE ON…

FLORIDA
» Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley…who had thrown 156 consecutive passes without an interception dating back to 2009, now has a 6-6 TD/INT ratio this season after throwing another pick last week. He has completed 145-of-233 passes (62.2 percent) for 1,459 yards and has a passer rating of 118.2.
» Freshman QB Trey Burton…who set a school record and SEC freshman record by scoring six touchdowns in a single game against Kentucky. He has 10 scores on the season, has played five positions, is second on the team in rushing (49 carries for 248 yards) and is seeing even more time behind center with the team wanting to run the ball better out of the option.
» Junior running back Jeff Demps…who is averaging 6.3 yards per carry and still leads the Gators in rushing (488 yards) after missing a full game and being limited in four others. He was Florida’s leading rusher in its first five games of the season.
» Redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey..who returned to action for the first time in over a month against Georgia and has 20 carries for 100 yards (along with 8 receptions for 43 yards) and two touchdowns this year.
» Sophomore WR Frankie Hammond, Jr.…who is quickly becoming one of Florida’s most important pass catchers. He was the team’s leading receiver against Mississippi State and caught three passes for 46 yards against Georgia.
» Senior punter Chas Henry…who is the end-all be-all of Florida’s kicking game now that he has taken over for junior Caleb Sturgis (back) as the team’s field goal kicker. Henry had missed five-straight field goal attempts (one negated by penalty) before nailing back-to-back kicks in the fourth quarter and overtime last week.
» Florida’s secondary…which has intercepted 11 balls this season including three last week against Georgia. Starters senior safety Ahmad Black (three), junior CB Janrois Jenkins, redshirt sophomore CB Jeremy Brown (three), and junior S Will Hill (two) have accounted for all of the unit’s picks.
» Black…who has led Florida in tackles five times this season: vs. LSU (13), Georgia (12), Miami (10), Mississippi State (10) and USF (8). He is tops on the team overall with 73 tackles, including five for loss.

VANDERBILT
» QB Larry Smith…a dual threat signal caller who has completed 89-of-176 passes this season for 1,030 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions. Smith has also carried the ball 75 times for 205 yards (2.7 average) with a long of 57 and three touchdowns on the ground.
» CB Casey Haward…who shares the NCAA lead with five interceptions on the season and is the first Commodore in team history to grab a pick in four consecutive games.
» DE Tim Fugger…who ranks third nationally with four forced fumbles and is already third all-time in Vanderbilt’s single-season ranks in the category.

INJURIES and INACTIVES
Injuries
Active – Junior RB Jeff Demps (foot), sophomore RB Mike Gillislee (hamstring), redshirt senior RB Emmanuel Moody (thigh)
Probable – Redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose
Questionable – Freshman WR Robert Clark

Inactives
Redshirt junior DT Jaye Howard (ankle), redshirt sophomore LT Matt Patchan (broken wrist), junior K Caleb Sturgis (back), sophomore LB Dee Finley (fractured collarbone), freshmen RB Mack Brown, WRs Quinton Dunbar and Chris Dunkley (hamstrings)

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators at Vanderbilt Commodores preview after the jump!
Continue Reading » Week 10: Florida Gators at Vanderbilt Commodores

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