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Florida Gators' Caleb Sturgis nails fourth career 50-plus-yard field goal

GAINESVILLE — Florida K Caleb Sturgis missed last week's game against Georgia with a leg injury he suffered the previous week against Auburn. Then his first attempt on Saturday afternoon sailed wide right.

He vowed to himself that would be the final miss of the day. Sturgis later connected on two field goals to help the Gators to a 26-21 victory over Vanderbilt.

His 55-yarder late in the first half was the second longest of his career and fourth career 50-yarder, which ties the school record held by Berj Yepremian.

Sturgis and Georgia's Blair Walsh are the only kickers in the SEC with two field goals of 50 yards or longer this season.

"I thought I had to make it because I missed the first one and I felt I let the team down," Sturgis said. "So I had to make the second one.

"When I went out there, I told myself I'm not going to miss this short."

INJURY UPDATE: Injuries continue to plague the Gators. Senior RB Chris Rainey missed his first game of the season and former Tampa Catholic OL Chaz Green missed his second straight game, both with ankle injuries.

Senior DE Lerentee McCray (shoulder) and LB Jelani Jenkins, also did not play. Jenkins took a hit to the head against Georgia last week. QB John Brantley missed the latter part of the third quarter and all of the fourth with an undisclosed injury to his elbow.

PENALTIES: They have been the bane of Florida's existence this season as it entered Saturday leading Division I-A in penalties.

Early on, it looked as if the Gators were headed for another bad day.

They committed a false start on the second play of the game but ultimately committed just three for 17 yards.

Vanderbilt committed 12 for 106, including offside when Florida was going for it on fourth and 1 at the Florida 15 with 4:25 remaining in the game.

"This is one game," coach Will Muschamp said.

"I'm not, after one game, ready to wave the flag that we're disciplined now."

In case you're wondering, Muschamp insisted he wasn't trying to draw Vandy offside on the play.

"We were trying to win the game," he said.

Changes on the line: For several weeks, Muschamp has lamented that lack of depth hinders his ability to make players more accountable for mistakes. Saturday, Muschamp changed that.

After sophomore C Jonotthan Harrison's snap sailed over Brantley's head during a third-quarter drive, he was replaced by Sam Robey. Muschamp later said there had been several errant snaps.

In addition, senior LG Dan Wenger was replaced in the third quarter by Kyle Koehne.

"We just need to be more consistent with our snaps, and we've had issues throughout the year," Muschamp said.

"So I thought we needed to make the change."

After the game, Harrison posted a message on his Twitter account: "I apologize. #Gator Nation."

Florida Gators' Caleb Sturgis nails fourth career 50-plus-yard field goal 11/05/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 5, 2011 8:37pm]
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