Demps leads Florida past Vanderbilt 26-21

By Adam Silverstein
November 5, 2011

Running for a career-high 158 yards on 23 carries with a pair of touchdowns on Saturday, senior running back Jeff Demps was the primary offensive weapon for the Florida Gators, which snapped a four-game losing streak by defeating the Vanderbilt Commodores 26-21 on homecoming at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

Florida (5-4, 3-4 SEC) led 17-0 at the half but was up just five until Demps took off on a 52-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. Vanderbilt (4-5, 1-5 SEC) scored again but a failed onside kick gave UF the ball back and allowed them to run out the clock.

The Gators have won 21 consecutive games against the Commodores dating back to 1989 and have not lost at home to them since 1945.

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]Florida drove down the field on their first possession and threatened to score early. A pass from freshman quarterback Jacoby Brissett to redshirt sophomore tight end Omarius Hines went for 37 yards near Vanderbilt’s goal line, but Hines fumbled it before crossing and turned it over.

UF still managed to score 17 points in the first half. Brissett ran a touchdown in from a yard out, Demps carried a ball five yards for a score, and redshirt junior kicker Caleb Sturgis connected on a 55-yard attempt with six seconds left in the half after missing a 49-yard try in the first quarter.

Commodores’ signal caller Jordan Rodgers was impressive all game long, finishing 19/28 for 297 yards, a pair of touchdowns and a rushing score. His first came midway through the third quarter on a 26-yard pass to wide receiver Jordan Matthews, which cut the Gators’ lead to 10.

Sturgis hit a 40-yard field goal near the end of the third, but Vanderbilt responded with a 14-play, 60-yard drive that ended with an eight-yard rushing touchdown for Rodgers, leaving Florida ahead just 20-14 with 10:54 to play.

After consecutive punts, the Gators got the ball back at their own six looking for a way to close out the game. An offsides by the Commodores on fourth down kept Florida’s drive alive, as did a pass interference call three plays later. Demps carried the ball seven times on the eight-play, 94-yard drive and ended it with a 52-yard rushing touchdown.

UF’s two-point conversion attempt failed, and VU capitalized immediately by driving 80 yards in just five plays, the last of which was a 10-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to WR Chris Boyd.

Redshirt sophomore tight end Jordan Reed recovered the ensuing onside kick, and the Gators held onto the lead by running the clock out from there.

The most penalized team in the country heading into the game, Florida committed just three on Saturday. Vanderbilt, on the other hand, was flagged 12 times for 106 yards and kept a few UF drives alive with their miscues.

Junior RB Mike Gillislee saw some time in the run game for the Gators, carrying the ball nine times for 39 yards. Sophomore RB Trey Burton got going in the first half, earning 41 receiving yards on three receptions.

Florida got some good quarterbacking from redshirt senior John Brantley, who was 16/24 for 173 yards. Brantley played his best in the first half but injured his shoulder in the fourth quarter and was removed for the game.

The Gators held Commodores star RB Zac Stacy to 49 yards on 13 carries but gave up nine receptions for 170 yards and a touchdown to Matthews.

Florida possessed the ball three more minutes than Vanderbilt and gained just 33 more yards than their opponent. Hines’s fumble was the only turnover of the game.

Saturday’s win was the Gators’ first victory since Sept. 24. Florida had not played at home since losing to Alabama on Oct. 1 and will hop on the road again next Saturday to take on South Carolina. The game time and channel has yet to be announced.

Photo Credit: John Raoux/Associated Press[/EXPAND]


  1. Nick says:

    Huge win

  2. jay d says:

    The only good thing about this game is that we did not lose…the coaching is still questionable at best and john brantley has a fatter vage than my 230 lb sister…man up for 60 min for once in ur life dude…pinch ur genitals and sack up!

    • Gator John says:

      tough talk by someone sitting their fat ass behind a computer. maybe YOU should man up,suit up and go out there and get YOUR ass kicked for 60 minutes. then come back here and run your mouth.

    • Basshole says:


      Brantley busted his tail to get back for the last two games and I’m sick of the grief this kid gets. Comments like this are unfair to kids like him who play their hearts out for ungrateful fans like you.

      • Sarasota 'cane says:

        They do the same thing to Jacory at UM!! The fan’s expectations of these kids is crazy!

      • HardToKillGator says:

        Completely agree. This is a very good ugly win. Being a Gator is a hell of a good thing! The hater Gators are liable

        to wake up on a Sun. morning duct taped together at the 50 yard yard line of Florida Field.

  3. g8ter27 says:

    Its a win so I will try not to be negative. Jordan Rogers throwing for almost 300 yards on us….not good. Our D allowing them to walk down the field at the end of the game to score again..not good. Thank you Jordan reed for catching the onsides kick! Could you please try and catch some other passes thrown your way next week? Speaking of catching…our secondary appears as if they have stone hands…it is comical how many pics we have dropped. Brantley taking a sack in the 2 minute offense is simply inexcusable yet he does it constantly. Now the good stuff.

    What a kick by Sturgis to end the half! Play calling was a good bit better today, nothing great but a definite improvement. D-line played pretty good (except Floyd is too big((slow)) to be playing defensice end as the qb and backs kept getting outside of him. Seems like this D is better suited for a 4-3 rather than a 3-4 but what do I know? We got the win and are still alive for a bowl…good job guys, keep improving!

  4. wingtee says:


  5. Gator John says:

    it was obvious to those of us with any football knowledge at all that JB was taken out so they could run the I and take some time off the clock. I liked the pistol set, as it seemed we were able to run more north and south than we have in previous games. Secondary needs to step up for sure. But a win is a win.

    • Gator John says:

      I just watched the replay of the 4th quarter this morning, and I stand corected, The didn’t run the I as much as I thought they did with Brissett in the 4th. Didn’t realize JB was hurt until watching this replay. So I was incorrect.

  6. Ken (CA) says:

    Nice win, but ugly 2nd half again. We must just not have enough quality deepth and get gassed in the 2nd half.

    I would have like Demps to Ice the game by stopping at the 5 yd line or so and taking a knee. No reason to score there and give them a chance to do what they almost did. take a knee and then just run out the clock with the victory formation, Vandy had no TOs left.

  7. aziatic41 says:

    This was a very much needed win against a very tough improved Vanderbilt team. Hopefully JB is alright. Brissett really showed some poise. Also would like to see Brantley be more consistent in the 2nd half of games and on third down plays. It is clear he is a horrible athlete who is not very durable, but he has to improve in close games and on crucial downs for us to win the rest of our remaining games

  8. gatorNsc says:

    I think this is a huge step in the right direction…what the hell happened to the secondary??? I dont hear ya’ll screaming for Omarius Hines now____lol….GO GATORS

  9. John S. says:

    Very grateful for the win. Brantley played well until the injury acted up, the pistol was brilliant. Admittedly we benefitted from some calls, but we were due. Defensively we need to improve especially the secondary. We’re never watching the ball, just grabbing jerseys.

    Go gators

  10. Tractorr says:

    We really needed this win, because it almost certainly guarantees bowl eligibility. We may not care about whatever bowl they get into but we NEED the extra practice.

  11. SaraGator says:

    That 55 yard field goal was amazing! And, it was against the wind.

    We needed this win!!! I don’t ever remember being this nervous against Vandy. The next few years isn’t going to be this easy. They are recruiting well and Rodgers has a strong arm. Kids, this isn’t your father’s Vanderbilt.

    It was sad that Vandy didn’t have their band there. Also, halftime show was fun! It was karaoke: alums vs. students. I’m a little biased but I think the alums won. haha

  12. ncgator says:

    Struggling to beat a perrenial doormat like Vanderbilt does nothing for me, I can’t get past losing to Georgia and probably saving Richt’s job. They’re going to win the SEC East. I’m still nauseous on a daily basis,….someone please send me a Zofran

    • John S says:

      I like having Richt at Georgia (3-8 against us). Even with our hobbled QB and countless penalties he could still barely beat us. Rather him be in Athens than someone potentially much more dangerous.

  13. aziatic41 says:

    I really think we can beat SC next week even though we are on the road. The key to the game will be not turning the ball over and committing penalties. Brantley is going to really have to watch the back side pressure from Clowney and Ingram. SC is a good team on both sides of the ball but they are coming off a tough loss to Arkansas, so they’ll be very vulnerable. GO GATORS

    • uf_84 says:

      We have a small chance next week only because Lattimore is out for the year. Still, my gt tells me the ol’ball coach takes young William to SEC school. It would be nice to beat a quality opponent with a winning record for once this year but I don’t see it happening.

  14. G8trpls says:

    Why is this team such a bad 2nd half team? The coaches are the obvious reason. Other teams make adjustments, UF doesn’t.

    • Gatorgrad79 says:


      Our second half performance (lack of) is exactly what (CA) Ken said – deplorable lack of depth compounded by starters with injuries coming out in the 1st half and getting beat up when they haven’t had time to heal – point in case – Brantley. He should likely have never started against Ga, and was visibly limping before even half time. If he doesn’t have a hairline fracture with that “”LOWER LEG INJURY”” I’ll eat my O&B hat.
      I can only hope that we are recruiting to the new offensive scheme for next year. The younger fans need to recognize this IS NOT the worst the Gators have ever been (See the mid to late 70’s), and it will take time to work ourselves out of the hole we are in. With all the previous positive attitude, I will add that we seem to lack toughness the last two years, whether that is attitude or physicality, I couldn’t say…

    • John S says:

      I think technically we’re not a very good football team right now (all new systems, wrong personnel, no depth, etc) and our coaches have to be creative to give us a chance. We throw the other team a curve ball (like the pistol, 3 QB’s, etc…) and hide our deficiencies for a couple quarters. The other team than figures it out and we then have to play square the rest of the game and can’t keep up. That and defensively we’re pretty predictable.

  15. aziatic41 says:

    John S, I agree we are very predictable. On offense we fool a team for one half and the in 2nd half they figure us out and then its over. On offense we haven’t put pressure on defenses for the last two years and on defense we haven’t be aggressive for the last two years. Teams have been lining it up and running the down our throat and on 3rd downs they have been torching our secondary the last two years. Aaron Murray’s 3rd and 4th down conversion rate against us the past two years has to be around 80%.

    We can beat SC but its going to take 4 quarters of playing good, not two. Wilds the freshman rb from SC is a big physical fast back like Lattimore. He really scares me, especially if Spurrier who is an excellent playcaller gives him the ball a lot in the second half and its a close game

  16. Gatorgrad79 says:

    If it’s close after the first half, we’re toast!

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