The Florida Gators took care of business Saturday afternoon as they blew out the Idaho Vandals 63-10. It was not a pretty game for Idaho as Florida scored on the first play while on defense. It was a great game for the Florida offense as they were able to pad their stats. Redshirt-sophomore Feleipe Franks did what he was supposed to do and found the end zone a couple of times. Florida gave their two junior running backs some rest as they let Franks spread the ball around. Freshman quarterback Emory Jones got in late in the second quarter and played well against the Vandals. Florida scored two defensive touchdowns for the first time this season as the Florida Gators rout the Idaho Vandals 63-10 on Senior Day.
The Vandals came into the Swamp for the second time but played their first game versus Florida. The first time Idaho came to Gainesville was in 2014 but the game called due to unstable field conditions due to rain. Unfortunately, there was no rain to save the Vandals this season. The Idaho offense had limited success moving the ball until late in the game with Florida’s backups. Starting quarterback Mason Petrino had a rough game as he went 12 for 31 with 70 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. Petrino was successful on the ground as he had twelve carries for 87 yards. The leading receiver for the Vandals was wide receiver Jeff Cotton with three catches for 38 yards and a touchdown.
On defense, Idaho struggled against Florida’s offense. Idaho gave up 600 yards of total offense. The leading tacklers for the Vandals were the Elliss brothers. Sophomore linebacker Christian Elliss led both teams in tackles with thirteen in the game. The senior, Kaden Elliss, also was around the ball a lot as he had ten tackles against the Gators. The Vandals did get a sack in the game as senior Ben Taliulu got to Jones.
The Gators have officially won twice as many games as last season. Franks had a big game as he completed 19 out of 27 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns. Franks also had a 17-yard rushing touchdown early in the first quarter. Jones showed some flashes of the future as he completed twelve out of sixteen for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Florida had another rushing touchdown by Josh Hammond on a trick play. Five different pass catchers found the end zone for the Florida Gators. Senior tight end C’yontai Lewis was the leading receiver for Florida with three catches and 57 yards. Tyrie Cleveland had three receptions for 51 yards and a score. Hammond caught three for 30 and a touchdown. Freshman tight end Kyle Pitts caught his first collegiate touchdown for 52 yards. Van Jefferson and Dameon Pierce also caught touchdowns.
The Florida defense was very tough as they put a lot of pressure on the quarterback and shut down their passing game. Junior Chauncey Gardner-Johnson caught a 26-yard pick six on the first play of the game. Linebacker Ventrell Miller also caught a pick-six for 82 yards in the fourth quarter. Florida’s defense also had two sacks in the game by Jachai Polite and Jeremiah Moon. Redshirt-freshman linebacker James Houston IV led the Gators in tackles with five. It was a solid performance by the first team defense but wasn’t the same with the second team defense.
The Florida Gators will finish their regular season on the road against the Florida State Seminoles. If the Gators defeats the Noles, Florida will have a good shot at a New Year’s Six Bowl. You can watch this rivalry game next Saturday at noon on ABC.