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The last thing a Florida fan wants to hear this week is that the Gators have a streak against Vanderbilt but the Commodores often play the Gators tough as nails.
That was last week’s opponent. Well, and this week’s, too.
Florida has won 29 of the last 30 games against Vandy, the lone loss coming in Will Muschamp’s penultimate season when James Franklin came to the Swamp and put a whuppin’ on the Gators.
Oh, and Florida hasn’t lost in Nashville since 1988. Of course, this time the game is in Gainesville, but you get the similarities between last week and this week.
And it probably makes you shiver.
This is not an illustrious history between the two schools with Florida winning 40 of the 52 games (two were ties). It’s homecoming, so we’re going to have a heavy lean in that direction as we bring you this week’s history lesson (no chewing of gum).
And remember, the modern era of Florida begins Nov. 3, 1962, because that was the first game I ever saw.
It’s a Vandy thing
It’s all about where games fall in the schedule and the schedule over the years has gone through different variants. But Florida still has played Vanderbilt more on homecoming than any other team in the modern era with nine games since 1962.
A couple of real gems here:
Yes, the one loss in 30 years was on homecoming
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Franklin made a big deal after the game about how he had an injured quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels warm-up to make Florida think he was starting.
That had nothing to do with the game. Tyler Murphy threw three picks and Vandy scored off all three. They sacked Murphy five times. The Commodores won with 183 total yards and a 26-12 disadvantage on first downs.
This was certainly right at the precipice of Gator fans getting ready to be done with Muschamp. But remember, the Georgia Southern game was still two weeks away.
Urban Meyer’s first homecoming game at Florida was a doozy
Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports
The Gators eventually beat Vanderbilt, but it took two overtimes and a break from the officials.
UF led 35-21 and Jay Cutler was a handful. Then, he became almost unstoppable.
He threw 10 straight passes to lead Vanderbilt to a touchdown. The Commodores recovered an onside kick and he drove them to another score, a 6-yard pass to Earl Bennett.
Vandy coach Bobby Johnson, the Steve Martin look-alike, had already decided to go for two and try to win the game. But Bennett was flagged for a celebration penalty (he barely waggled his body; it was a terrible call) and Johnson settled for the extra point.
Vandy scored in OT and Chris Leak answered with a touchdown pass to Chad Jackson. Then, Florida scored on the other end of the field in the second OT. Finally, Reggie Lewis picked off an out route by Cutler and the game ended.
“I think that was one of those games that was stolen from us,” Johnson said.
In 2001, Steve Spurrier flexed on the Commodores with one of his best teams
… winning 71-13 despite three turnovers. There was a little more margin for error back in the days of the Head Ball Coach.
That was a homecoming game, too, but two years earlier, Vandy tried to spoil the annual welcoming of the graduates. The Gators barely escaped 13-6.
“I check to a fade, and they say, `Watch the fade,”‘ quarterback Doug Johnson said. “I check to a hitch and they say, `Watch the hitch.’ They were telling our receivers which routes they should run. You may think I’m being sarcastic, but I’m not. I guess (Tim) Olmstead got the last laugh.”
Olmstead had transferred from Florida to Vanderbilt.
Question No. 1: Can you name the four SEC teams Florida has not played for homecoming in the modern era?
Answer: That would be Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas A&M. But Florida did play Alabama in 1930 and Georgia in 1931 as well as Tennessee in 1955. So, A&M is the only team Florida has never played for homecoming.
Question No. 2: In 1982, Florida played West Texas State for homecoming. What was the significance of the game?
Answer: It is still the most yards Florida has ever gained in a game. Despite trailing 14-7, Florida won the game 77-14 and managed 774 yards.
Question 3: Who is the only team to face Florida in back-to-back years at homecoming?
Answer: The Duke Blue Devils made consecutive trips to Gainesville in 1974 and ’75 for whatever reason and took home a pair of losses.