Lamical Perine scored three touchdowns, Malik Davis added two and No. 21 Florida beat Vanderbilt 38-24 on Saturday despite losing quarterback Luke Del Rio for the season with a broken left collarbone. Coach Jim McElwain says Del Rio will have season-ending surgery Monday. It’s the second straight year Del Rio failed to make it through the season uninjured.
A young, inexperienced starting quarterback is the talk of college football in the state of Florida. How will Florida State true freshman James Blackman do this weekend as he steps in for the injured Deondre Francois? The Seminoles are not the only ones starting a signal caller with precious little experience. Though he is now a legend among the Florida faithful, the Gators’ redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks has started a grand total of two games.
“What just happened?” That was surely the question coming from Tennessee players, coaches and the legions of fans back in Rocky Top after Feleipe Franks’ 63-yard heave to Tyrie Cleveland gave Florida a shocking win at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday. Gator fans likely had the same reaction, but with a decidedly different outlook.
Feleipe Franks heaved a 63-yard touchdown pass to Tyrie Cleveland as the clock expired, and No. 24 Florida beat 23rd-ranked Tennessee 26-20 in a wild, wacky and sometimes unwatchable rivalry game Saturday. Franks scrambled away from the rush on a first-and-10 play with 9 seconds remaining and found Cleveland behind safety Micah Abernathy for a Hail Mary that no one – especially the Volunteers – saw coming.
Talk about a mismatch. Alabama’s defense is the best in the nation. Florida’s offense looks like one of the worst. They’ll face off Saturday in the Southeastern Conference championships game, with the top-ranked Crimson Tide (12-0, 8-0 SEC) heavily favored to lock up its third straight trip to the College Football Playoff with a victory over the No. 15 Gators (8-3, 6-2). Alabama has not given up a defensive touchdown in 17 quarters, a span that covers its entire November…