Florida stops slide by beating Vanderbilt

Florida 26, Vanderbilt 21
Teammates and fans cheer as Florida running back Jeff Demps runs for a 52-yard touchdown against Vanderbilt. Demps had a career-high 158 yards in the victory.



GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Jeff Demps ran for a career-high 158 yards and two touchdowns, shouldering the load because of Chris Rainey’s ankle injury, and Florida beat Vanderbilt 26-21 Saturday to end a four-game skid.

The Gators now have won 21 in a row against the Commodores, extending their dominance in a series that has been one-sided since 1989.

The latest one was one of the closest in recent years.

Florida (5-4, 3-4 Southeastern Conference) led 17-0 at halftime and could have been up more had it not been for a missed field goal and a fumble at the goal line. But Vanderbilt (4-5, 1-5) scored on consecutive drives in the second half, cutting the lead to 20-14, and had a chance to move ahead.

It didn’t happen. Florida took advantage of two penalties to keep a drive alive, and Demps went untouched for a 52-yard score with 2:13 remaining.



In Lexington, Ky., Maxwell Smith threw for 283 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter as Kentucky beat Mississippi.

Smith, a freshman. had 128 yards passing at halftime, but the Wildcats couldn’t quite reach the red zone as four drives ended between the Ole Miss 30-yard line and the 50.

Using deep passes in the second half, the Wildcats (4-5, 1-4 Southeastern Conference) took a 16-13 lead on Smith’s 38-yard touchdown to La’Rod King with 12:22 left.

After forcing the Rebels (2-7, 0-6) into two punts, Smith put the game out of reach with a 56-yard pass to King that set up an 8-yard touchdown throw to Gene McCaskill.

CoShik Williams had 111 yards rushing and two touchdowns for Kentucky.



In Knoxville, Tenn., Tauren Poole ran for two touchdowns as Tennessee beat Middle Tennessee 24-0 on Saturday night.

The Vols (4-5) cruised to their 26th homecoming victory in 28 seasons after a month that saw them lose four consecutive games to Southeastern Conference opponents.



In Starkville, Miss., Vick Ballard rushed for two touchdowns, and the two-pronged quarterback system of Chris Relf and Tyler Russell combined for three scores as Mississippi State rolled past Tennessee-Martin..

Ballard, who has 27 career touchdowns in 21 games, gained 102 yards on 11 carries and scored a pair of first-half touchdowns as Mississippi State (5-4) won consecutive games for the first time this season.



Wed, 11/22/2017 - 00:22


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