Entering Saturday afternoon, the Florida Gators hadn’t had a rushing touchdown by a running back since the middle of last season. That’s not the case anymore, as the Florida running game had a field day and ran through the Vanderbilt Commodores. The Gators started the day with Luke Del Rio as their quarterback but was replaced by Feleipe Franks after Del Rio suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. Franks came in and did a good job of replacing Del Rio. He made no mistakes and allowed the running game to do its thing. Lamical Perine and Malik Davis both had career games but Davis is the player of the game.
The Vanderbilt Commodores played a pretty decent game against the Gators, considering how badly they were outplayed by Alabama, the prior week. Ralph Webb was Florida’s biggest target to shut down and for the first time, they did. Webb had 26 yards on 11 carries in the game which was his second lowest rushing yards this season. Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur had a pretty solid performance as he went 18-40 for 264 yards and three touchdowns. While Shurmur wasn’t the most accurate, he had most of his yards come in big plays, as they had success with some deep balls versus the Florida secondary. C.J. Duncan had the best game at the receiver position with five receptions for 75 yards. Kalija Lipscomb also had a good game, with three receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown.
While the offense had some positive moments, the Vanderbilt defense struggled mightily against the Florida rushing attack. The Vanderbilt defense allowed 218 yards on the ground and another 249 yards through the air. The Commodores defense did apply some QB pressures on Luke Del Rio and Feleipe Franks. They didn’t record many sacks, but the Gators QBs were constantly pressured. The Vanderbilt defense has a lot of work to do as they have allowed 30+ points and 400+ yards in the past two games.
The Florida Gators finally had a spark on offense and played their best game all season. Luke Del Rio got the start but broke his collarbone which will sideline him for the year. Feleipe Franks came in and played much better than he has in the past three games. Franks went 10-14 for 185 yards as Del Rio went 7-11 for yards. While the quarterbacks played well, the Florida running game was the focal point of the game. Freshman running Malik Davis made his first start of the year and he had his best game so far. Davis had 17 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Lamical Perine also had a great game on the ground as he had 15 carries for 58 yards and three touchdowns. The Gators might have something special in the running game and should lean on that and take pressure off Franks.
The Florida defense struggled in the first half but made some nice adjustments in the second half. The defensive player of the game was the senior defensive end Jordan Sherit as he applied a lot of pressure and force some bad throws. Heading into this game, the Florida defense wanted to improve on tackling and they did for the most part. Chauncey Gardner had a better performance than in the past several games, but he still struggled with a few missed tackles. The defensive line had a little bit of a push this week but will have a tougher opponent next week. Derrius Guice and the LSU Tigers are coming into town and the Florida defensive line must dominate the line of scrimmage if they want to slow down the LSU rushing attack.