GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Somehow, someway, the Florida Gators continue to find ways to win this season against SEC teams.
This week, it was a 38-24 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores in which Florida scored 5 rushing touchdowns for the first time since 2014.
With the win — and a perfect record in conference play — the Gators held firm at No. 4 in the latest SEC Country Power Poll, which was released Sunday afternoon.
The Gators (3-1, 3-0 SEC) used a stout run game and a stingy second-half defensive performance to pull away from the Commodores and remain undefeated in conference play heading into their homecoming game against LSU next weekend.
“Our guys knew what they needed to do and they went out and did it. And that’s good,” Florida coach Jim McElwain said. “So that’s one in the books and then we’ll get ready to go play next week, another opportunity in The Swamp. It’s gonna be a lot of fun. A lot of excitement and I know our guys are gonna really look forward to it.”
RELATED: QB Feleipe Franks must build on confidence booster vs. Vandy | Luke Del Rio dealt another bad break | What Jim McElwain said after the win | A visual recap of Florida’s win over Vanderbilt | Florida RBs finding their groove | Injury update
Florida once again saw the quarterback carousel rotating after Luke Del Rio suffered a season-ending collarbone injury in the second quarter. McElwain said Del Rio will have surgery on Monday.
But in his place, Feleipe Franks — who started the first three games of the year before being benched in favor of Del Rio in the second half against Kentucky — came in and managed the game. Franks finished with 185 yards on 10-of-14 passing, including a 49-yard pass to Tyrie Cleveland late in the second half and a 33-yard completion off a tipped pass to Freddie Swain in the third quarter.
But the Gators managed to pull out the win on the back of its running game. All told, Florida rushed for a season-high 218 yards and 5 touchdowns against Vanderbilt. Freshman Malik Davis tallied a career-high 124 yards and 2 touchdowns while averaging 7.3 yards per carry. Sophomore Lamical Perine added 3 rushing touchdowns and 58 rushing yards.
The defense, which gave up 17 first-half points, locked down in the second half, holding Vanderbilt to just 111 yards in the second half and limited the Commodores to seven plays in the third quarter.
SEC Country’s Power Poll, consisting of 27 voters, placed Alabama in the No. 1 spot, where the Crimson Tide have been all season.
Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.
Your Week 5 Power Poll rankings
|1||Alabama (5 - 0)||351||27||1||1||1|
|2||Georgia (5 - 0)||322||0||2||2||3|
|3||Auburn (4 - 1)||298||0||3||2||4|
|4||Florida (3 - 1)||265||0||4||4||5|
|5||Texas A&M (4 - 1)||223||0||8||4||13|
|6||Kentucky (4 - 1)||200||0||7||4||12|
|7||Mississippi State (3 - 2)||191||0||5||4||9|
|8||South Carolina (3 - 2)||135||0||11||7||13|
|9||Arkansas (2 - 2)||128||0||12||3||13|
|10||LSU (3 - 2)||115||0||6||7||13|
|11||Vanderbilt (3 - 2)||93||0||9||7||14|
|12||Tennessee (3 - 2)||81||0||10||6||13|
|13||Ole Miss (2 - 2)||49||0||13||7||14|
|14||Missouri (1 - 3)||6||0||14||9||14|
This week's voters:
Alex Hickey ( SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith ( SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford ( SEC Country)
Ben Wolk ( SEC Country)
Brandon Walker ( SEC Country)
Chip Towers ( DawgNation)
Chris Kirschner ( SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh ( SEC Country)
Eric Bolin ( SEC Country)
Joe Mussatto ( SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson ( SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson ( SEC Country)
Ken Bradley ( SEC Country)
Kyle Tucker ( SEC Country)
Lauren Shute ( SEC Country)
Marq Burnett ( SEC Country)
Mike Griffith ( SEC Country)
Seth Emerson ( DawgNation)
Thomas Neumann ( SEC Country)
Trent Shadid ( SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi ( SEC Country)
The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Florida is ranked (Week 5) appeared first on SEC Country.