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Florida 31, Vanderbilt 17

The SportsXchange

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Great special-teams play and the feet of quarterback Jeff Driskel, who rushed for 177 yards and three touchdowns, helped Florida to a 31-17 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday night.

Florida didn't register a single passing yard in the second half but didn't need it with the way

Driskel was running. The sophomore had scoring runs in the second, third and fourth quarters, and the Gators added big plays on a fake punt, a two-point conversion and a blocked field-goal attempt at various points of the game.

The fourth-ranked Gators remained undefeated and ran their record to 6-0 overall and 5-0 in the

Southeastern Conference, keeping them on top of the Eastern Division. Vandy fell to 2-4, 1-3.

With the Gators leading 11-7 at the half, Driskel led a five-play, 62-yard drive that ended when

he ran for a 13-yard score on a first-and-goal midway through the third quarter. That was set up by

a 54-yard run by upback Solomon Patton on a fake punt on a fourth-and-5 that moved the ball to the Vandy 3.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Vandy quarterback Jordan Rodgers fumbled at his own 14. Florida's Neiron Ball recovered and Caleb Sturgis kicked a 29-yard field goal to put the Gators up 21-7.

Vandy's Zac Stacy answered with a 1-yard touchdown with 8:57 to pull the Commodores closer, but Andre Debose returned the next kickoff 60 yards to put Florida in scoring position at the Vandy 37 and Sturgis added a 26-yard field goal to push the margin to 10.

Then Carey Spear kicked a 22-yard field goal to keep the Commodores within striking distance at 24-17. But on the next offensive snap, Driskel fooled Vandy once again on a 70-yard touchdown dash around the right side, giving the Gators a comfortable 31-17 lead.

Vanderbilt struck first in the game on a Jordan Rodgers pass to Jordan Matthews in the back-

right corner of the end zone on a third-and-5 play from the Florida 10. Rodgers had set up the

score with a beautiful 37-yard bomb to Chris Matthews that put the Commodores at the Gators 14.

But Florida struck back when Driskel completely fooled the Vanderbilt defense on a fake handoff, looped to his left and strolled down the sideline untouched for a 37-yard scoring run.

Instead of kicking the point-after, the Gators used a swinging-gate formation and put most of

its men on the far left side of the field. Trey Burton took the direct snap and easily darted into

the end zone for a two-point conversion and an 8-7 Gators lead.

Driskel led the Gators on a 12-play, 83-yard scoring drive just before the half that culminated

with a Sturgis field goal with 10 seconds left. Driskel had runs of 17 and 19 yards on the drive,

but a 5-yard penalty from the half-yard-line on a second-and-goal helped kill a touchdown


NOTES: Florida defensive end Dominque Easley (non-specific injury), linebacker Jelani Jenkins

(hamstring) and guard James Wilson (undisclosed injury) did not play. The Gators also lost center

Jonatthan Harrison and tight end Jordan Reed to injuries during the game. ... Vanderbilt center

Spencer Pulley was hurt in the first quarter but did return.

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