Sunday, December 10, 2017
Colleges

Vanderbilt hands Florida Gators another loss

GAINESVILLE — What has been a difficult season for Florida moved deeper into despair Saturday afternoon.

Already having lost three in a row, the Gators threw away a chance to get closer to six wins — and a bowl game.

Literally.

Vanderbilt turned three interceptions into 21 points in a 34-17 win over the Gators on homecoming at Ben Hill Griffin.

It was the Commodores' first win over the Gators (4-5, 3-4 SEC) since 1988 (a span of 22 games) and first in Gainesville since 1945 (a span of 20). It also was just the second time since 1988 that Vanderbilt scored 34 or more points against Florida. (In 2005, it scored 42 in a double-overtime loss.)

"You can play with more of an edge than I believe we did," said third-year Florida coach Will Muschamp, who was showered with boos as his record fell to 22-13 overall and 13-10 in the SEC. "Not saying we didn't play hard. I think we did play hard. We competed and fought to the end. But at the end of the day, you cannot give them those opportunities. It's just a complete emotional letdown."

For the third consecutive game, UF won the toss and deferred — and its opponent scored. The Commodores (5-4, 2-4) opened with a 14-play, 62-yard drive that ate 7:04 off of the clock. The Gators now have been outscored 72-29 in the first quarter this season.

Vanderbilt's next three touchdowns resulted from Tyler Murphy interceptions that gave the Commodores possession at the UF 10, 22 and 4. The led to Vandy scoring on a 10-yard run by Jerron Seymour with three seconds remaining in the first quarter, a 5-yard run by quarterback Patton Robinette 5:38 into the second quarter, and a 2-yard run by Seymour 2:13 into the third quarter.

"You're not going to win many games turning it over four times and spotting the ball on the 10, 22 and 4," said Muschamp, who also lost four consecutive games in his first season. "We're not good enough to overcome critical mistakes like that."

Murphy also lost a fumble while sacked and went 30-of-46 for 305 yards and a touchdown.

"I'm still confident in myself," Murphy said. "But any time you play like that, it doesn't help your team. Individually, I felt I let my team down a little bit."

Based on statistics alone, the Gators dominated. Florida had 305 passing yards to Vanderbilt's 57 and 344 total yards to Vanderbilt's 183 (though Vandy outrushed UF 126-39).

"If you look at it statistically, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense," Vanderbilt coach James Franklin said. "But because of the turnovers … ."

Florida must now regroup to play at No. 13 South Carolina on Saturday.

The Gators need two wins among their final three to become bowl-eligible. (Their last nonbowl season was 1990, and the last time they didn't play in one while not on probation was 1979.)

One win likely will come at home Nov. 23 against I-AA Georgia Southern. But they end the season at home against No. 3 (and undefeated) Florida State.

"We all understand (what's at stake)," defensive end Jonathan Bullard said. "We're going to do whatever it takes, and hopefully, the offense does the same. Nobody likes to lose. We're fighting to win every game that we've got left."

Fireable offense?

Almost nine years ago today (Nov. 6 to be exact) Florida beat Vanderbilt 34-17 in Ron Zook's 35th game as Gators coach. Current Florida coach Will Muschamp now also has coached 35 games. Zook was fired after No. 33 but stayed to finish the season:

Muschamp Zook

Overall 22-13 21-14

SEC 13-10 15-8

Avg. pts. 24.6 29.4

     
                                                                                         
Comments
FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

Updated: 4 hours ago
Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield wins Heisman Trophy

Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield wins Heisman Trophy

NEW YORK — Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, completing a climb from walk-on to one of the most accomplished players in the history of college football. Mayfield won a lopsided vote to become the sixth Okla...
Published: 12/09/17
Could Jim Harbaugh soon be known as Willie Taggart’s buddy?

Could Jim Harbaugh soon be known as Willie Taggart’s buddy?

TAMPA — His team was in Ann Arbor, practicing. He was signing footballs in Tampa.Yet another Jim Harbaugh fun fact."I can’t be in two places at once," Harbaugh said.Not that Harbaugh wouldn’t try it if he could. College football’s firestarter, its bi...
Published: 12/08/17

Gasparilla Bowl journal: Temple’s Collins speaks highly of former boss, new Gator Mullen

ST. PETE BEACH — If anyone has an accurate read on how new coach Dan Mullen will fare at Florida, it’s Temple’s Geoff Collins.Collins worked under Mullen as a Mississippi State assistant from 2011-14. He jumped from there to Gainesville, where he spe...
Published: 12/07/17
No. 5 Florida Gators lose stunner at home to Loyola-Chicago

No. 5 Florida Gators lose stunner at home to Loyola-Chicago

GAINESVILLE — Aundre Jackson scored 23, Cameron Krutwig added 14 and Loyola-Chicago stunned No. 5 Florida 63-59 Wednesday, handing the Gators a third consecutive loss. Less than 48 hours after Florida coach Mike White said his team’s performance agai...
Published: 12/06/17
Twitter propels man toward dream of becoming bloomin' onion at Outback Bowl

Twitter propels man toward dream of becoming bloomin' onion at Outback Bowl

No matter what happens on the field at the Outback Bowl in Tampa, the star of the show will be the bloomin’ onion. Not the deliciously crispy, glistening, 1,900-plus-calorie appetizer served at Outback restaurants, but the person who parades t...
Published: 12/06/17
Indiana hoops transplant perfectly at home in Tampa

Indiana hoops transplant perfectly at home in Tampa

TAMPA — Back home in Indiana, he was basketball royalty. He played in his first league at age 2. He lived — and loved — the hardwood life. He was accustomed to performing before more than 10,000 fans for his big games.Pat Bacon capped his storied pre...
Published: 12/06/17
Offensive guru Heupel is named UCF coach

Offensive guru Heupel is named UCF coach

UCF hired Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Heupel as football coach.Heupel quickly hired former UF interim coach Randy Shannon as defensive coordinator.Heupel, 39, was a consensus All-American quarterback who led Oklahoma to the 2000 national titl...
Published: 12/05/17
At Hall of Fame induction, Steve Spurrier and Peyton Manning share respect

At Hall of Fame induction, Steve Spurrier and Peyton Manning share respect

NEW YORK — After the class picture of the latest Hall of Fame inductees was taken, Peyton Manning made his way over to Steve Spurrier for another handshake and some chit-chat before heading off in opposite directions to do media interviews. The forme...
Published: 12/05/17
FSU upsets No. 5 Florida, its fourth straight win over Gators

FSU upsets No. 5 Florida, its fourth straight win over Gators

GAINESVILLE — Terance Mann scored 25, CJ Walker added 17 and Florida State upset No. 5 Florida 83-66 on Monday night to remain undefeated. The Seminoles (7-0) also extended their winning streak against the Gators (5-2) to four, their longest in the 6...
Published: 12/04/17