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Vanderbilt can’t find end zone in 42-0 loss at Florida

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Somehow, that was a shutout.

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In what’s been a recurring theme for the Vanderbilt Commodores this season, the offense got out to a slow start, gaining a single first down on its first three drives as the homestanding Florida Gators scored easily on their first two possessions to take an early 14-0 lead. The good news, if there was any, is that the game didn’t get completely out of hand in the first quarter.

It looked like Florida would have a good chance at making it 21-0 with the Gators getting great field position off a line-drive punt by Vanderbilt’s Harrison Smith that the Commodores’ coverage team couldn’t catch up with, allowing a big return to the Vanderbilt 44, but Gator backup quarterback Anthony Richardson immediately threw a pass that was intercepted by Vanderbilt’s Elijah McAllister. Finally catching a break, Vanderbilt got a bit of offense going on its next drive with some assists by a pair of personal foul penalties by Florida, but the drive ended with no points when Joseph Bulovas doinked one off the left upright. A quick three-and-out by the Florida offense gave Vanderbilt the ball right back, and another promising drive by Vanderbilt stalled just outside the red zone... and this time, Bulovas hooked his 41-yard attempt left. A third scoring chance ended with a Ken Seals interception, setting up a Florida score to go up 21-0. And then, just before halftime, a perfect throw by Seals to Cam Johnson gave Vanderbilt a 1st and goal at the Florida 1... only, four plays later, for the officials to rule that this was not a touchdown catch:

So, if you’re keeping score at home, Vanderbilt wasted four scoring opportunities in the second quarter to be down 21-0 at the half, but there were still some positives to take away even with the score — positives that quickly evaporated in the third quarter as Florida scored on its first three possessions to go up 42-0. A Dashaun Jerkins interception briefly stopped the bleeding, but Bulovas missed another field goal attempt, this time from 33 yards.

Vanderbilt, at least, held Florida out of the end zone for the rest of the game, but the Commodores couldn’t put up any points. The final score was 42-0, in spite of Vanderbilt putting up 287 yards of total offense.