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Reche Caldwell scored a TD for the ninth consecutive game.

Saturday November 3, 2001Football overwhelms Vanderbilt, 71-13

Gainesville, FL

Reche Caldwell scored a TD for the ninth consecutive game.

Rex Grossman and Brock Berlin each threw three touchdown passes as the third ranked Florida Gators roared past Vanderbilt 71-13 before a homecoming crowd of 85,052 at the Swamp in Gainesville Saturday. It was the most points scored by the Gators in an SEC game since scoring 73 against Kentucky on Sept. 10, 1994.

The Gators bolted out to a 24-0 lead in the first quarter and built a 37-0 advantage by halftime. A 28 point third quarter gave Florida a 65-0 lead.

Earnest Graham got the lopsided victory off and running with a pair of touchdown runs - of two and five yards - in the first quarter. Grossman threw his 25th touchdown pass of the season - an eight yard toss to Jabar Gaffney - to give the Gators a 21-0 lead. Jeff Chandler capped the first quarter scoring with a 37 yard field goal.

In the second quarter, Grossman threw a 13 yard touchdown pass to Taylor Jacobs and a 19-yarder to Reche Caldwell to expand the lead to 37-0 at the half. Grossman didn't play in the second half. He finished 17 of 29 for 306 yards. He has now thrown for over 300 yards in eight consecutive games.

Grossman said he could pick and choose what he wanted to do against the Vandy defense. "They played alot of zone", said Grossman. "We pretty much knew exactly what they were doing, so we could get a good play on most of the time."

Backup quarterback Brock Berlin was happy to get playing time. He threw touchdown passes to Taylor Jacobs, Carlos Perez and Kirk Wells in the second half. The three scores a career-high for Berlin.

"It felt good to get in there and just play around and have some fun with the guys", said Berlin. "Receivers did a great job, caught everything, and the o-line gave me some time. It was great to throw it around a little bit."

The Gator special teams also got into the act, blocking the first two punts of the season. Both blocks led to points and both blocks were made by Jacksonville sophomore Gus Scott. He said hard work in practice this week payed off. "The punt block has been looking good all year, but we put alot more extra time in it." Florida freshman runningback Willie Green scored a four yard touchdown on the first carry of his Gator career. It came in the third quarter and gave the Gators a 58-0 lead. Green finished as Florida's top rusher with 49 yards on 11 carries. The Gators rushed for 168 yards and passed for 403 more.

Florida coach Steve Spurrier took the 58 point victory over the Commodores in stride. "This is just a win. We can't get full of scoring a bunch of points and beating them bad," said Spurrier in his postgame radio interview. "You don't get anything extra for this. I sort of wished, maybe, we had beaten them 38-10. It sort of got out of hand."

Taylor Jacobs had a career day for the Gators with six catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Reche Caldwell caught four balls for 117 yards and a touchdown. Caldwell has now scored at least one touchdown in nine consecutive games. On the defensive side, linebacker Andra Davis returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown and also was credited with a pair of forced fumbles.

The Gators are a perfect 20-0 at home versus SEC East foes since the league went to divisional play in 1992. Next Saturday, the Gators play an important SEC game at South Carolina. A loss for either school would take them out of contention for the SEC Championship Game. The game will kickoff at 7:45 p.m. and will be carried nationally by ESPN.

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