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Florida Football

Instant Analysis: Florida checks all the boxes in bounce-back victory

October 9, 2021
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No. 20 Florida returned to the Swamp after last week’s loss in Lexington to play host to lowly Vanderbilt on the Gators’ homecoming weekend. Despite a sloppy first half, Florida dominated en route to a comfortable 42-0 shutout win. 

Here’s our Instant Analysis.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: After forcing a Vanderbilt punt on the opening series, the Gators marched down the field and scored a touchdown on an eight-play, two-minute drive. Nay’Quan Wright did most of the damage, with some nice throws from Emory Jones mixed in as well, before Dameon Pierce punched it in from a yard out. This game was honestly over before it started, and once Florida scored that easily, the result was never in doubt.

THEY STOLE THE SHOW: Emory Jones gets better every single week. Dan Mullen clearly made a concentrated effort to push the ball downfield and Jones largely delivered, finishing with 273 passing yards and a career-high four touchdowns. He displayed real touch on some deep passes, especially on a 61-yard touchdown to Dameon Pierce.

THESE STATS DON’T LIE: During a game in which the final score would normally indicate a near-flawless outing, the truth is there’s still reason to worry about the Gators’ sloppy play.  UF was called for eight penalties for 80 yards. Yes, it was an improvement over last weekend, when they were flagged 15 times, but this is still nowhere near good enough. 

THIS MATCH-UP PROVED KEY: Florida was playing itself as much as it was Vanderbilt. When the Gators were focused and engaged, they dominated, when they weren’t it got sloppy. 

As far as an actual on-field matchup, Florida’s front seven dominated Vandy’s offensive line. Yes, the defense was sloppy, but most of the yards it gave up came on quick passes and on the perimeter. The defensive line got consistent pressure and made things miserable anytime the Commodores tried running between the tackles. The mismatch upfront made this an impossible task for Vanderbilt.

OH, WHAT A PLAY: There were a lot of fun plays from Florida in this one, but the two that stick out came early on.

Nay’Quan Wright is so shifty and this was him at his shiftiest with a ridiculous juke. He was great in this game with 109 yards on 9 touches. 

This is one of the best throws Emory Jones has made yet. And a great catch from Trent Whittemore as well. 

UP NEXT: The Gators head back on the road next week for a noon date with rivals LSU in Baton Rouge. The Tigers have struggled this year, but boast an incredibly talented team and one of the most hostile environments in the country.

Instant Analysis: Florida checks all the boxes in bounce-back victory

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