The No. 20 Florida Gators (4-2, 2-2) were able to get the job done today against the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-5, 0-2), securing a much-needed convincing victory over a middling opponent within the SEC. Florida would defeat the Commodores 42-0, completing the shutout they pitched through the first half.
This game was exactly what Florida needed to show, and they'll be able to head into Baton Rouge next week against the LSU Tigers with their heads held high.
The Gators entered the contest without several of its key players, including running back Malik Davis, cornerback Kaiir Elam and starting left tackle Richard Gouriage. The team ultimately didn't need them, however, putting together its best performance of the season.
With Elam now missing three games on the year, don't be surprised to see him back next week. He was seen warming up last week prior to the team's game against Kentucky, and Florida head coach Dan Mullen has stated that Elam would be ready to play, even as of two weeks ago.
It would be a career day for redshirt junior QB Emory Jones, posting four touchdowns on the day, while throwing for 273 yards while completing 14 out of 22 of his passes. Both his yards and touchdown passes would be career highs.
He would throw one interception on the day, a poor decision that led to a tip and the only turnover of the day for Florida.
The Gators run game would do well on Saturday, too, rushing for 181 yards on the day on 34 carries.
For the Gators, its defense, while they did allow plenty of yards through the first half, letting Vanderbilt stack up 200 yards during just 30 minutes of play on the day. Their second-half defense would prove much better, however, allowing just 87 total yards through quarters three and four.
Through it all, it would be a very respectable day for Florida, giving them their first shut out through the season, and allowing them to see just how dominant they can be against lesser competition.
The Gators will head into next week with a 4-2 record and are back to 2-2 against SEC teams on the year. While it wasn't an eventful showing, it was exactly what Florida needed after a disappointing loss last week against Kentucky.
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