The Florida Gators football team (4-5, 3-4 SEC) suffered its fourth straight loss, 34-17 at the hands of the Vanderbilt Commodores (5-4, 2-4 SEC) on Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Florida’s season has now reached a new low. The loss snapped Florida’s 22-game winning streak against Vanderbilt and it was the Commodores’ first win in Gainesville since 1945. It also raises doubts in the Gators’ fight to become bowl eligible.
Vanderbilt was helped in large part by the play of Florida quarterback Tyler Murphy. The redshirt junior threw two first half interceptions, and three on the game, that led to 14 points for the Commodores. Murphy also lost a fumble late in the second quarter. It was 17-3 at halftime and by that point the game was pretty much over.
Florida did its best to rally in the second half but it was all for naught. A 11-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off by a Kelvin Taylor touchdown, helped cut the lead to 24-10 in the third quarter. But that was as close as the Gators would get. Vanderbilt responded with a 17-play, 87-yard drive of their own that resulted in a one-yard touchdown run from Vanderbilt running back Jerron Seymour, his third of the game, making it 31-10.
Florida would add another touchdown late, on a spectacular catch from freshman wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood, but a failed onside kick attempt would seal the Gators’ fate. Vanderbilt added a late field goal to make it 34-17.
The loss has only added more speculation about the future of head coach Will Muschamp in Gainesville. He faced a chorus off boos on multiple occasions in the team’s annual homecoming game. At 4-5, the Gators must win two of their final three games to become bowl eligible. But with games against South Carolina and Florida State on the schedule, that appears highly unlikely.
But rest easy Gator fans, the basketball team tipped off its season this week with a win, so there is now something to distract us from the poor play on the football field.