Vanderbilt started hot and kept its lead comfortable in a 34-17 win over a beleaguered Florida football team.
Vandy, for the most part, took what Florida gave it and just tried not to make mistakes. It worked out fairly well. The Commodores managed just 183 total yards, most of them coming on a 62-yard TD drive in the first quarter and an 87-yard TD drive in the fourth quarter. VU took advantage of Florida turnovers on touchdown "drives" of 10, 22, and four yards in the interim. On the Gators' part, it was an inverse of last year's win over South Carolina in which UF scored 44 points on fewer than 200 total yards.
The turnovers were the largest single reason for Florida's struggles, with Tyler Murphy throwing three picks and losing a fumble. Vanderbilt abused Florida's injury plagued offensive line and chased him around all day, particularly on obvious passing downs. Vandy's defense allowed just five third down conversions on 14 attempts. The Gators moved the ball, but Vanderbilt's defense made big plays at big points in time.
The outcome of this game makes one wonder if either head coach will still be around next season. USC has James Franklin on its radar to replace Lane Kiffin, and the very real possibility of missing a bowl for the first time since before the Steve Spurrier era might do in Will Muschamp. There is much more to be said on both fronts later, but for now, Vanderbilt went into the Swamp with a freshman quarterback and looked and played like the better and tougher team throughout.