Van­der­bilt, Ga­tors get bit heated

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - SPORTS -

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.

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