This was a game that was not only beaten senseless with an ugly stick, it fell out of the tree and hit every branch on the way down. In the end, though, the scoreboard was all that mattered to Florida.
In a contest that only a (blind) mother could love, UF survived miscue after miscue in outlasting Vanderbilt by the score of 9-7 in The Swamp. The game-winning score came with 2:22 left in the fourth on Austin Hardin‘s 43-yard field goal.
With the win, Florida clinched the SEC East title and a spot in the conference championship game a month from now. This marks the first Gators’ divisional title since 2009, although the celebration was very nearly put on ice for another week.
First and foremost, the Gators turned the ball over four times — three fumbles, one interception. Their average starting field position was close to midfield, yet they managed just six points the first 58 minutes of the game. They had just the six points thanks to a missed extra point off the foot of a walk-on dental student. Thanks to the utter ineptness of the Vandy offense, however, UF was able to overcome the self-inflicted gunshots to their own feet.
The Commodores managed just 31 yards passing, and averaged three yards per carry on the ground. Ralph Webb ran 74 yards in the second quarter for Vandy’s lone score of the day; in their 61 other plays, they produced 103 yards.
The Gators’ offense didn’t exactly stir up memories of Baylor’s attack, though, as they managed to average just 4.3 yards per play in producing 258 yards of offense.