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Florida Gators 27, Vanderbilt 3: Where are all the playmakers?

GAINESVILLE -- It probably wasn't the bloodletting that Florida Gators fans had hoped for but UF's 27-3 victory on Saturday against Vanderbilt was the Gators' second consecutive solid performance and, more importantly, UF's 19th straight victory.

We'll address some key points as they pop into our head...

1. Tim Tebow's Heisman Trophy campaign
What are his chances of winning the Heisman after Saturday's game? Tebow didn't play poorly but he certainly did not dominate Vanderbilt like he did in 2007 and 2008. Tebow completed 15 of 20 attempts on Saturday for 208 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown, an eight-yard throw to David Nelson, came off an initial tip by receiver Riley Cooper. Tebow also rushed for score, the 52nd rushing touchdown of his career.

Tebow accounted for five touchdowns in each of his previous two starts against Vanderbilt (2007 and 2008). Tebow's numbers are down. Can he still win the Heisman? I think he deserves the Heisman but many people are looking for reasons not to vote for Tebow and that might hurt him.

2. Where are all the big plays? Where are all the playmakers? (And don't be lame and tell me that Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy were on the Gators' sideline on Saturday.)
Ten games into the season and Florida is still searching for playmakers. Here's a stat that will blow your mind. Jeff Demps' 25-yard touchdown run on Saturday was his longest carry this season against an SEC opponent. A tight leads UF in receiving. Aaron Hernandez has 43 receptions through nine games after his seven receptions for 120 yards on Saturday. Deonte Thompson, where are you? Thompson had one reception for 16 yards on Saturday. When Florida wanted to throw downfield on Saturday, Tebow was sacked. Vanderbilt sacked Tebow four times.

3. Florida's defense is a dominant force. Playing without middle linebacker Brandon Spikes, Florida held Vandy to 199 yards of offense. Florida's defense entered Saturday's game ranked No.2 in the nation.

OK, that's it. I'm heading home. Until Sunday, talk amongst yourselves.

LIVE BLOG BELOW
Florida's bid for a shutout evaporated with 8:40 left in the third quarter when Vanderbilt's Ryan Fowler kicked a 32-yard field goal. Florida leads 13-3.

Halftime
It's halftime at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Time to break the news. Brandon Spikes appears to have shaved his smart-guy beard. We watched Spikes on the sidelines off and on during the first half and it appears Spikes has gone hairless. Probably penance for his eye gouge; like flogging or something. UF leads Vanderbilt 13-0 at halftime. 

Maurkice Pouncey injures right leg
Florida center Maurkice Pouncey left the game with 3:16 left in the first half with what appeared to be a right leg injury. Mike Pouncey moved to center and James Wilson entered the game at left guard. The play after Maurkice left the game: Tebow sacked for a 12-yard loss.

Louis Murphy in the house
Former Florida receiver Louis Murphy (Oakland Raiders) is in the house, too. Murphy is hanging out with Harvin on the sidelines near the Florida 25.

Tebow passes out of I-formation
The play every Florida Gators fan has been waiting to see just happened. That's right, Tebow threw out of the I-formation.

Florida took a 13-0 lead with 6:08 left to the play in the first half and the drive included a 16-yard pass to Deonte Thompson out of the I-formation. NFL here he comes! 

4th down conversion
Faced with 4th and 2 at the Vandy 26, UF elected to go for it and converted the gamble into a 26-yard touchdown run by Jeff Demps. It was a speed option play and Vanderbilt either didn't account for Demps or Demps was just too fast. UF 10, Vanderbilt 0; 12:43 in the 2nd Quarter.

Demps' 26-yard touchdown run was his longest carry during SEC play this season.

The touchdown drive was set up by an interception from UF linebacker Ryan Stamper. Stamper stepped in front of a Mackenzi Adams pass at the Vandy 34.

Meyer puts his foot down
The Banzai is back! The Banzai is back! Isn't everyone glad the Banzai is back!?!

The Florida Gators always look pretty herky-jerky in their no-huddle, speed-up-to-slow-down Banzai package. Still, they keep on using it. The Gators lead Vanderbilt 3-0 after a first quarter of Banzai. The Gators held the ball for over seven minutes during their second drive of the game but settled for a field goal when the drive stalled at the Vandy 10.

On third and 2, Florida called a bizarre triple-option play that sent Jeff Demps and Aaron Hernandez in motion and into the backfield. What ever it was, it didn't work. Tebow faked to the Hernandez and then kept the ball and ran into a pile at the 10. Florida coach Urban Meyer stomped his foot in disgust.

Percy Harvin on the sidelines
Percy Harvin in the house! Just spotted the Gators' former wide receiver on the sidelines. Will Harvin win NFL Rookie of the Year?

It's official, Florida vs. Alabama in the SEC championship game
Alabama clinched the Southeastern Conference Western Division on Saturday with its 24-15 victory against Louisiana State in Tuscaloosa, Ala. That means it's official: Florida vs. Alabama; Meyer vs. Saban; Tebow vs. Ingram on Dec.5 in Atlanta.

Blogging live from tonight's game ... Gators not dressed: Dorian Munroe, Gary Brown, T.J. Lawrence, Andre Debose, Kedric Johnson, Brandon Hicks, Edwin Herbert, Brandon Antwine, Brandon Spikes, Desmond Parks and Jeremy Brown. 

-jo-

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