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Auburn quarterback Bo Nix, left, is hit by Florida linebacker Jonathan Greenard (58) as he releases the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Diabate Leads Defensive Dominance in Gator Victory

The Florida Gators shut out the Vanderbilt Commodores to improve to 8-2 on the season, winning 56-0 on Saturday.  This is the third shutout by the Gators this season; the first against an FBS team.

The Defensive Leaders

Of those who contributed to the Gators’ dominant performance, linebacker Mohamoud Diabate and defensive back Donavan Stiner led the charge. Diabate sacked Vanderbilt QB Deuce Wallace three times and forced a fumble. The fumble would be scooped up by Jonathan Greenard for a Gator touchdown.

Diabate contributes his growing success to growing levels of maturity.

Stiner intercepted two of Wallace’s passes. One of them was in the red zone. For much of the game, Stiner’s yards returned added up to more yards than Vanderbilt’s total yards.

How Dominant Was the Defense as a Whole?

The Commodores averaged less than one rushing yard into the third quarter. They finished with an average of 1.3 yards per carry. At the lowest, it was 0.1 yards per carry. To make it clear, these numbers are not typos.

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask (11) throws a pass as he is pressured by Vanderbilt defensive lineman Rutger Reitmaier, right, during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

The Florida defense was so strong that Vanderbilt had six passing yards through much of the third quarter. Vanderbilt finished with an average of 3.7 passing yards per attempt. Vandy QB Deuce Wallace finished 7/18 passing for just 60 yards. He had no touchdown and threw one interception. The other interception came from back up Allan Walters.

An Offensive Note Among the Defensive Highlights

The dominance of the defense can’t be ignored, but neither an accomplishment by quarterbacks Kyle Trask and Emory Jones. Trask bounced back from a slow start to throw three touchdown passes and throw for 363 yards. This total would be the most passing yards the Gators have thrown for in a game since the Tim Tebow days. Emory Jones had a big day has well; but most of his damage came on the ground.  Those three rushing touchdowns are a career high for Jones in a single game. This is also Jones’ first career game with three touchdowns (passing and rushing combined).

Looking Ahead

The Gators hit the road for their final regular SEC game of the season next Saturday against the Missouri Tigers. They have one final home game to close out the season at the end of November against rival Florida State Thanksgiving weekend.

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