Gators bounce back from loss, shut out Commodores, 42-0
Defensively, the Gators allowed 18 first downs but no points
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -After suffering their second SEC loss a week ago, the No. 20 Florida Gators left no doubt in Saturday’s homecoming matchup against Vanderbilt. Florida scored 21 points in each half to reach 4-2 overall (2-2 SEC) with a 42-0 win.
The shutout is the first for the Gators since their 2019 matchup against the Commodores, a 56-0 victory.
Emory Jones threw for a career-high four touchdowns and completed 14 of 22 passes for 273 yards and one interception. Florida took a 7-0 lead on an 8-play, 78-yard scoring drive on their first possession, capped by a Dameon Pierce 1-yard rush.
Jones and the Gators stretched their lead to 21-0 on a pair of touchdown passes, a 5-yarder to Ja’Quavion Fraziars (Dunnellon H.S.) in the first quarter and a 9-yard connection to Trent Whittemore (Buchholz H.S.) in the second.
Defensively, the Gators allowed 18 first downs but no points. Vanderbilt’s only threat came in the final seconds of the first half. Chris Pierce Jr. caught a fourth down pass along the sideline for an apparent touchdown, but the play was overturned and Florida took a 21-0 lead into the locker room.
The Gators then exploded out of the gate in the third quarter, scoring three touchdowns in 6 minutes, 14 seconds. Jones found Pierce out of the backfield for a 61-yard touchdown catch and run. Then, Jones threw to Jacob Copeland for 25 yards and a score. And following an interception, Pierce scored his third touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run to put the game out of reach.
Daquan Newkirk and Trey Dean III each came away with interceptions for Florida and the team recorded a shutout despite the defense being on the field for 36 minutes, 16 seconds.
Florida out-gained Vanderbilt, 479-287 and have now won 30 of the last 31 meetings in the head to head series. The Commodores fall to 2-4 overall, 0-2 in the SEC.
The Gators next travel to Baton Rouge to face LSU on Oct. 16.
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