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Vanderbilt falls short in upset attempt

By Teresa M. Walker

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  — The Florida Gators aren’t in the mood to pick apart a road win in the Southeastern Conference, especially after last week’s ugly loss.

No matter what they might need to fix.

Jordan Scarlett ran for a 4-yard touchdown with Eddy Pineiro adding a pair of field goals as No. 23 Florida held off Vanderbilt 13-6 Saturday.

 “A wise man once said, ‘you even have to bring your ugly babies home from the hospital,’ and that was ugly,” Florida coach Jim McElwain said. “In fact that might have been what someone told my dad when I was born. But I feel really good that our guys found a way to win.”
Florida (4-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) came up with two interceptions and two sacks on a day where the Gators defense otherwise struggled against one of the nation’s worst offenses with three starting linemen missing most of the game.

Ralph Webb ran for 110 yards as Vanderbilt outgained Florida 265-236 in total offense. The Commodores (2-3, 0-2) had a final chance to force overtime until Nick Washington intercepted a Wade Freebeck pass with 54 seconds left sealing the Gators’ win.

The Gators never trailed and led 10-3 after Scarlett scored on a 4-yard touchdown run, and Pineiro kicked a 42-yard field goal as the half expired. Pinero added a 26-yarder with 8:17 left.

Florida had a chance to pad its lead after Vanderbilt punter Sam Loy fumbled the snap and lost the ball with 5:07 left with the Commodores trailing 13-6. But Austin Appleby fumbled the snap on second-and-goal at the Vanderbilt 1 with 2:56 left giving the Commodores one last chance.

“It’s beyond me how you fumble the ball on a quarterback sneak at the end of the game,” McElwain said. “It happened, and yet our defense stepped up. They had to step up twice.”