GAINESVILLE, Fla. — After a 38-24 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday, the Florida Gators held firm at No. 21 in the latest AP top-25 poll, which was released on Sunday afternoon.
Florida is tied with Notre Dame in the poll.
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.”
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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 limiting the Commodores to seven plays in the third quarter.
The Gators remained at No. 20 in the USA Today coaches poll.
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