Sophomore Percy Harvin electrified a Ben Hill Griffin Stadium crowd of
90,222, as Florida
defeated Vanderbilt 49-22 on Homecoming weekend. Harvin
had 11 carries for 113 yards with two touchdowns and nine receptions for
110 yards, marking the first time in school history that a player rushed and
received for more than 100 yards in a single game.
Quarterback Tim Tebow (Jacksonville, Fla.)
set a new Southeastern Conference record for most rushing touchdowns by a
quarterback in a season with 14, also tying Emmitt
Smith and Buford Long for the school record for most rushing touchdowns in a
season. Tebow finished the game 22 of 27 for 281 yards and three
touchdowns. He rushed for 35 yards on
six carries with two touchdowns.
Senior wide receiver Andre
Caldwell had a career-high nine receptions for 103 yards and two
The Gators opened the scoring with 8:22 remaining in the first quarter
on a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Tim Tebow. The eight-play, 82-yard drive was highlighted
by a 40-yard reception by junior wide receiver Louis Murphy (St. Petersburg,
Fla.) A successful point
after attempt by senior kicker Joey
Ijjas (Clearwater, Fla.) gave the Gators a 7-0 lead.
The Gators’ next drive took only 44 seconds and two plays, set up by a
53-yard punt return by sophomore running back Brandon James (St. Augustine,
Fla.), and culminated by a
21-yard reception and 18-yard touchdown run by Harvin.
Vanderbilt took control of the ball on the Gators 21 yard line to open
up the second quarter after Ijjas failed to connect on a 28-yard field goal
attempt. The Commodores narrowed the
Gators lead, 14-7, with 11:00 remaining in the half on a one-yard rush by
quarterback Mackenzi Adams.
The Gators answered quickly with a 76-yard, five-play scoring drive
ending with an 11-yard touchdown reception by sophomore wide receiver Jarred Fayson
(Tampa, Fla.) The Orange
and Blue offense was back on the field within minutes after sophomore
linebacker Brandon Spikes (Shelby,
N.C.) deflected Adams’ pass and sophomore
defensive end Jermaine Cunningham (Stone Mountain, Ga.) intercepted and returned it for 18
yards, giving the Gators possession on Vanderbilt’s 16-yard line. Tebow connected with Harvin for an 12-yard gain on the first play of the possession and then
Caldwell for a
four-yard touchdown pass. The Gators led, 28-7, with 6:28 remaining in the
After the tenacious Gator defense forced the Commodores to punt on their
following possession, the Gator offense took the field for the remaining
minutes of the half. Tebow and Caldwell
combined for the second-consecutive touchdown for the Orange and Blue with a 14-yard touchdown
reception with :37 remaining in the half.
The Gators brought a balanced attack of rushing and passing in the
84-yard, 12-play scoring drive giving the Gators a 35-7 lead heading into the
locker room at the half.
Vanderbilt was first to strike in the second half. The Gator defense held the Commodores to
three points after kicker Bryant Hahnfeldt converted
on a 33-yard field goal attempt bringing the score to 35-10 with 9:58 remaining
in the second quarter.
After two scoreless possessions by the Gators and one by Vanderbilt, the
Gators regained control of the ball when James recovered a Vanderbilt fumble
off of a punt by freshman punter Chas
Henry (Dallas, Ga.).
After Tebow carried the ball for an 11-yard gain, he capped the drive
with a one-yard touchdown rush to give the Gators a 42-10 lead with 4:16 left
in the third quarter.
Vanderbilt narrowed the margin, 42-16, with 13:46 remaining in the game
following a one-yard touchdown carry by Adams. The Commodores failed on the extra point
attempt after the pass was intercepted by Spikes.
The Gators had great field position on their next possession thanks to a
52-yard kickoff return by James. Following
a 22-yard gain by Tebow and a six-yard reception by Caldwell, Harvin followed with a five-yard
carry and added a quick six off a 13-yard touchdown carry. Ijjas’ successful point after extended the
Gators lead to 49-16 with 12:05 left in the game.
Freshman quarterback Cameron
Newton (College Park, Ga.) took over for Tebow with less than
seven minutes remaining in the game. Darlron Spead recovered a Newton fumble and ran it
36 yards for a touchdown. The touchdown
was the last score of the game, finalizing the score in favor of the Gators,
The Gators will return to action next Saturday, Nov. 10, when they
travel to Columbus to a 7:45 p.m. meeting at
Southeastern Conference opponent South
Carolina. The game will air nationally on ESPN.