Vanderbilt, Gators get bit heated
NASHVILLE — Jordan Scarlett ran 48 yards for the go-ahead touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, and No. 14 Florida rallied from an 18-point deficit to beat Vanderbilt 37-27 Saturday in a game marred by a near brawl, with both head coaches yelling as each team spilled onto the field.
Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey was at the stadium for a firsthand view of the incident.
An official held back Florida coach Dan Mullen as he yelled at Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason, who was near the Gators’ sideline after checking on the Commodores defender whose helmet was knocked off by a hit by linebacker James Houston IV. Both teams spilled onto the field, drawing unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
The penalty cost the Gators their leading tackler; Vosean Joseph was ejected for his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of the first half. Two people escorted an emotional Joseph off the field.
Mullen and Mason hugged each other at midfield after the game. Mason said they talked. The Vanderbilt coach heard a Florida player say something to him and said he responded, then Mullen got mad.
That overshadowed the Gators (6-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) matching the largest comeback in a road game in school history, snapping a 26-game skid when trailing by 18 or more points. The Gators scored 24 straight points after Vanderbilt jumped out to a 21-3 lead midway through the second quarter, their first comeback win since Sept. 27, 2003, at Kentucky.
With the comeback, Florida won its fifth straight this season. The Gators also beat Vanderbilt (3-4, 0-3) for the fifth straight year and 27th time in 28 games in this series.
› No. 22 Texas A&M 26, South Carolina 23 COLUMBIA, S.C. — Kellen Mond passed for 353 yards and freshman Seth Small made four field goals, including the go-ahead kick in the fourth quarter, to lift the Aggies to their third straight win.
Texas A&M (5-2, 3-1) moved to 5-0 against the Gamecocks (3-3, 2-3) since joining the SEC in 2012.
Mond also had a 4-yard touchdown pass to Jace Sternberger in the second quarter and, when Small hit a 32-yard field goal on the Aggies’ first drive of the second half to go up 16-0, it looked like more than enough to put away the Gamecocks, who managed just 102 yards of offense the first 30 minutes.
That’s when Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley, returning after missing last week’s win over Missouri with a knee injury, led a pair of third-quarter touchdown drives — and the two-point conversions both times.
Texas A&M responded with the winning drive, moving 45 yards to set Small up for a 39-yard field goal with 9:16 left.