With the 25-19 loss to Florida, Vanderbilt moves to 4-6 on the season. The Commodores are 1-5 in Southeastern Conference play.
First Half Notes
Curtis Gatewood (R-Jr., DE) posted his sixth quarterback sack with 9:42 left in the first quarter.
Earl Bennett (So., WR) moved into sixth place all-time among Commodore in receptions with 7:45 left in the first quarter. The catch gave Bennett 133 career receptions, one morre than Martin Cox (132, 1975-78).
The Commodores marched 90 yards to score their touchdown, capped by a 13-yard TD run by Cassen Jackson-Garrison (Jr., TB). The seven-play drive include three completions from Chris Nickson (R-So.) to Bennett and a 37-yard pass from Nickson to Sean Walker (R-So., WR). It was a career long catch for Walker.
Josh Eames (R-Jr.) enjoyed his first action in three weeks, entering as a reserve offensive guard in the second quarter.
With 5:58 left before half, Gatewood made a big defensive play, deflecting a Chris Leak pass that fell into the hands of Ray Brown (R-Sr., DT). It was Brown's first career interceptions. Gatewood's play came after a second Gator punt block.
Jonathan Goff (R-Jr., LB) made another big defensive play with :51 remaining, intercepting a Leak pass at the Vanderbilt 3-yard line.
Nearly 900 cheerleaders from high schools and middle schools across the Southeast participated in halftime festivities by performing a collective cheer and dance routine. Cheerleaders came from Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi to participate in the routine, which was coordinated through the National Cheerleading Association.
Second Half Notes
Goff came up big during Florida's opening possession of the second half, tackling QB Tim Tebow for a two-yard loss on 3rd & 1. The play forced a Gator punt.
Jared Hawkins (R-Fr., TB) ran 35 yards for a first down on Vanderbilt's first possession. The drive failed to net points when the Commodores missed a 47-yard field goal.
Nickson and George Smith (R-So., WR) connected on a 10-yard TD pass to narrow the margin to 25-12 in the fourth quarter.
Ryan Hamilton (R-Fr., safety) gave the Commodores another opportunity to registering his first career interception with 9:52 left in the game.
Nickson and Earl Bennett connected on a 31-yard TD pass to cut the lead to 25-19 with 2:30 left in the game.
Earl Bennett finished with 13 catches for 157 yards. It was his sixth career game with with at least 10 catches and sixth with at least 100 receiving yards. Bennett became Vanderbilt's all-time leading sophomore in receptions with his eighth catch of the game. It was Bennett's 62nd reception, topping the 61-catch total achieved by Dan Stricker in 2000. Bennett also passed Everett Crawford (1984-87) and Chuck Scott into sixth place on the all-time receptions list. Bennett passed four former Commodores - Tavarus Hogans, Carl Parker, Keith Edwards and Erik Davis - on the career receiving yardage. He has 1,786 receiving yards.
Chris Nickson set career highs in completions (27), passing yards (298) and attempts (44) in the loss. His previous high in passing yardage (250) came last week at Duke.
Vanderbilt notched three interceptions, the most since picking off four passes in a 31-13 win over Mississippi State (Oct. 2, 2004).
Jonathan Goff finished with nine tackles, an interception and two tackles for loss (including a sack for eight yards).
Kevin Joyce finished with four tackles including a seven-yard sack.