NASHVILLE — Tampa Bay Rays pitcher and former Vanderbilt star David Price was the Commodores' guest of honor at the Florida game Saturday and was scheduled to participate in the pregame coin toss.
But there was one little problem: Nobody told the referee. So Price stood on the field but didn't actually get to do the toss.
"I don't know what happened," Price jokingly said afterward. "I was fine with not tossing it. I was kinda scared out there anyway. … I just got to go out there and stand with the captains, so that was good enough for me."
So, the 23-year-old isn't fazed by closing Game 7 of the American League Championship Series against the Red Sox but a coin toss had him worried?
"Yeah I know. It's crazy. I don't know what it is," Price said. "Pitching in the World Series is not nearly as nerve-racking as that."
The Nashville native said he has mostly been catching up on rest in his first return to Vanderbilt. He left the Commodores as the SEC male athlete of the year as well as Collegiate Baseball's co-national player of the year. He went 11-1 in his senior season, striking out 194, second in SEC history for a single season.
"I kind of forgot baseball for a little while," he said. "This is my offseason. I'm going to treat it like that. I'm not doing anything baseball-wise right now, probably won't for another week or two. I'm kind of taking it easy, waiting until next year comes around."
BLOCK PARTY: DE Carlos Dunlap gave Florida a big momentum boost early by blocking Vanderbilt's punt after it went three-and-out on its opening drive. The sophomore cemented his place in special teams fanatic Urban Meyer's good graces with his second blocked punt early in the second quarter. Both set up touchdowns. Dunlap has three career blocked punts, one shy of the school record held by Tim Paulk (1987-91) and Sam McCorkle (1992-95).
ROLLING UP THE (EARLY) NUMBERS: Florida's offense has been on a serious roll since its loss to Ole Miss at home.
The Gators have outscored opponents 80-0 in the first quarter in the five games since that loss. If that isn't impressive enough, Florida has outscored opponents 104-7 in the first quarter all season.
AT A DISADVANTAGE: South Carolina starting safety and kick returner Chris Culliver will miss at least the first half and maybe the entire game when the Gamecocks play at Florida this Saturday. Culliver was ejected for throwing a punch in the final minutes of the Gamecocks' 34-21 win over Arkansas on Saturday. The SEC will rule today on how long the sophomore will be suspended.
BUSY DAY: Florida backup QB Cameron Newton and his brother Cecil Jr. ensured their parents would be running all around Nashville on Saturday. Cecil Jr. was a starting offensive lineman in Tennessee State's 45-24 win against Eastern Illinois, a 1 p.m. kickoff. Then Cameron's Gators played Vanderbilt at 7 p.m.
The worst part is that former Cowboys safety Cecil Sr. and his wife, Jackie, live in Atlanta and had to make the approximately four-hour drive to Nashville before the day even started.
"We've got about 10 people coming and we're going to make a day of it," Cecil Sr. told the Tennessean. "We've got a little penthouse suite and we're all going to eat brunch in the morning and take in this whole Nashville experience."