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Florida escapes with win at Vandy

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(Associated Press)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jordan Scarlett ran for a 4-yard touchdown with Eddy Pineiro adding a pair of field goals as No. 23 Florida held off Vanderbilt 13-6 Saturday.

Florida (4-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) came up with two interceptions and two sacks on a day where the Gators defense otherwise struggled against one of the nation's worst offenses.

Ralph Webb ran for 110 yards as Vanderbilt outgained Florida 265-236 in total offense. The Commodores (2-3, 0-2) had a final chance to force overtime until two players who played their high school ball on the First Coast saved the Gators. With 54 seconds left linebacker Jarrad Davis of Camden County tipped a pass that was intercepted by former Trinity Christian Conqueror Nick Washington, sealing the Gators’ win.

The Gators never trailed and led 10-3 after Scarlett scored on a 4-yard touchdown run, and Pineiro kicked a 42-yard field goal as the half expired. Pinero added a 26-yarder with 8:17 left.

Florida had a chance to pad its lead after Vanderbilt punter Sam Loy fumbled the snap and lost the ball with 5:07 left with the Commodores trailing 13-6. But Austin Appleby fumbled the snap on second-and-goal at the Vanderbilt 1 with 2:56 left giving the Commodores one last chance. \

With the win Florida has now won 25 of their last 26 games against Vanderbilt. Next week the Gators return home to host LSU, the only SEC team to beat the Gators during the regular season last year in winning the Eastern Division.