The Point After

Zac Ellis: Inside the Commodores Zac Ellis

The Point After: Florida

Gators pull away from Commodores late

NASHVILLE – Recent history said Saturday's matchup with Florida would be a tight game for Vanderbilt. Indeed, that trend held true at Vanderbilt Stadium, but the visiting team left with the win.
 
No. 14 Florida rallied from a 21-3 first-half deficit to put on a big second half top Vanderbilt 37-27 on Saturday in Nashville.
 
Here's how it went down:
 
WHAT HAPPENED: A Joejuan Williams interception at the 2-yard line set the tone early and sparked a 98-yard touchdown drive that gave Vanderbilt a 7-0 lead. Later, the Dores took a 21-3 lead after Dayo Odeyingbo scooped up a fumble and Jamauri Wakefield capped the ensuing drive with a score. After Florida grabbed a touchdown, the Dores went into half leading 21-13. But the Gators took all momentum after the break, scoring the first 14 points of the second half to take the lead and not look back.
 
TURNING POINT: With 6:46 to play in the third quarter and Vanderbilt holding a 21-13 lead, Florida faced a fourth down in its own territory. After lining up for a punt, coach Dan Mullen called a fake that sent punter Johnny Townsend scampering up the middle for a first down. Florida would score a touchdown on that drive to cut Vanderbilt's lead to 21-20, sucking momentum out of Vanderbilt Stadium.
 
HELMET STICKERS
LB Jordan Griffin
Despite the lost, the senior linebacker put up a career day against Florida. Griffin finished with a career-high 18 tackles and 10 solo stops; he amassed 13 tackles in the first half alone.
 
RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn
Vaughn rushed for 56 yards on seven carries, including a 43-yard rush in the first half that helped set up Vanderbilt's first touchdown of the game.
 
QB Kyle Shurmur
The senior quarterback threw a garbage time interception late, but he still completed 18-of-36 throws for a pair of first-half touchdowns. Shurmur finished with 229 passing yards.

GIVE ME THE NUMBERS
12
Third down conversions by Florida. When the Gators didn't turn the ball over, they had no trouble moving the chains against the Commodores. Florida finished 12-of-19 on third down and 3-for-3 on fourth down.
 
24
Consecutive points scored by Florida. After Vanderbilt built a 21-3 lead in the second quarter, the Gators reeled off three touchdowns and a field goal for 24 straight points before the Commodores found the scoreboard again.
 
3
Turnovers forced by Vanderbilt's defense. The Commodores scored 17 points off three Gator turnovers, but it was not enough on Saturday.
 
WORTH NOTING: Vanderbilt's Kyle Shurmur surpassed 50 touchdown passes for his career with his two-touchdown outing against Florida.
 
WHAT'S NEXT: Vanderbilt hits the road to take on Kentucky next Saturday in Lexington. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. CT on SET Network.
 
Zac Ellis is the Writer and Digital Media Editor for Vanderbilt Athletics.
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