Vanderbilt ends 8-game skid against Florida 31-24

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mike Wright threw three touchdown passes and Vanderbilt upset Florida 31-24 on Saturday afternoon for its second straight Southeastern Conference victory.

Vanderbilt (5-6, 2-5) took a 7-3 lead and never looked back against Florida (6-5, 3-5). The loss ended a two-game winning streak for the Gators, who had won their last eight games against Vanderbilt.

Florida opened the scoring with a 26-yard field goal by Adam Mihalek and managed nothing but a 44-yard Mihalek field goal the rest of the half.

Vanderbilt took a 7-3 lead in the second quarter when Mike Wright connected with Jayden McGowan for a 10-yard touchdown.

The Commodores weren’t finished.

With 3:22 left in the first half, Florida’s Jason Marshall Jr. fumbled a punt from Vanderbilt’s Matthew Hayball at the Gators’ 5-yard line. The ball rolled into the end zone where it was recovered by Wesley Schelling for the touchdown and a 14-6 Vanderbilt lead at the half.

Florida struck on its first possession of the third quarter. Anthony Richardson finds running back Montrell Johnson Jr. on the right side for a 3-yard scoring pass to get the Gators within 14-12. A two-point conversion pass failed.

Wright connected with flanker Gavin Schoenwald for a 7-yard touchdown with 3:22 left in the third and Vanderbilt led 21-12.

Jaylen Mahoney picked off a Richardson pass and the Commodores took over at the Florida 28-yard line. Wright fired a scoring strike to tight end Ben Bresnahan on first down and the Commodores took a 28-12 lead into the final quarter.

Mark Humphrey/AP

Vanderbilt tight end Ben Bresnahan celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Florida in the second half Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. Vanderbilt won 31-24.

Richardson connected with Daejon Reynolds for a 74-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but Florida trailed 28-18 after the two-point conversion pass failed again.

Joseph Bulovas kicked a 27-yard field goal with 4:38 left to play to extend Vanderbilt’s lead to 31-18.

Richardson passed to Reynolds for a 16-yard score with 3:13 remaining to cap the scoring for Florida.

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