"You know, a wise man once told me, no matter what, you even got to bring them ugly babies home from the hospital," said Florida head coach Jim McElwain, "and that was ugly."
A very appropriate metaphor for what was seen at Vanderbilt Stadium. The Gators beat Vanderbilt 13-6, however, it was certainly not a pretty affair. With one minute left on the clock, the Gators still had to keep the Commodores at bay. It was Nick Washington's interception that sealed the win for Florida.
The Gators did not have the best start offensively. Vandy forced Florida to punt four straight times before Jordan Scarlett's four yard touchdown broke the scoreless deadlock. At halftime, Austin Appleby and company only managed to amass 125 yards on 33 plays and led by only seven points.
Things did not get better in the second half for the offense. In the third quarter, the offense only recorded 27 yards of offense, allowing the Commodores to cut the lead to just four points. But it was the Gators defense that once again bailed out Florida out of trouble. The defense not only held Vandy to a field goal rather than a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but also stopped Vanderbilt from taking advantage of Appleby's fumble with two minutes to go in the game.
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Game Ball: Jordan Scarlett and Jarrad Davis pick up the game ball in the win over Vandy. Scarlett would have taken it by himself, however, did not feature in the third quarter. Scarlett was Florida's spark on the offense and led the Gators with 63 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries. On the other side of the ball, Davis was instrumental in keeping Vandy's quarterback under pressure. He had a career high 15 tackles.
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They Said It: "You know, we missed some throws," said McElwain. "You know what I mean, how you fumble the ball on a quarterback sneak at the end of the game. It happened, and yet our defense stepped up. They had to step up twice."
"Offensively, their inside guys just beat the heck out of us, and that was very disappointing," added McElwain. "We’ll get back to work and get ready for a home game next week. Our guys came out ready to play. I don’t think the noon start had anything to do with it, had any impact. Our guys played, they were excited, they ran on to the field."
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They Said It: "I don’t know if we struggled as much as we’ve gotta be able to sustain drives," said the Gators quarterback Austin Appleby. "You know, when we win on first down and we get our tempo going, we can be prolific, as everyone’s seen. You know, when we scored in three minutes. But when we don’t score and we’re turning the ball over and putting our defense back out there early, you know, that’s tough."
"It was kind of relieving," added linebacker Jarrad Davis. "We came out here. We played a tough game with a great opponent, to be honest with you. They always play us tough, and we knew that coming off of last week, we were really hungry for a win. We knew we were going to have to do everything that we could to get this win. That's what we did today."
Quarterback Luke Del Rio's status remains up in the air for UF's home game against LSU. "We'll wait and see," said McElwain.
By the Numbers: 6-The Gators converted 6 of 15 third downs in the win. 265- The Florida defense yielded only 265 yards of offense. 15-Jarrad Davis had a career high 15 tackles. 4- Florida was forced to punt four straight times to start the game. 27- the UF offense only had 27 yards of offense in the third quarter. 12- the number of carries Jordan Scarlett had in the game. 0- the number of carries for Scarlett in the 3rd quarter.
Whats Next: The Gators will host LSU at home on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.null