Florida stormed back from a 21-3 deficit against Vanderbilt on Saturday to escape the Commodores home field with a 37-27 win. But that was far from the most important highlight of the game. Late in the first half, Gators linebacker James Houston IV laid this monstrous hit on Vanderbilt’s Dare Odeyingbo during a punt return play.
As Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason went to check on his player—who remained down on the field for some time—he began to exchange words with Florida head coach Dan Mullen, and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. Tempers flared and soon both benches ended up clearing onto the field to back up their respective coach.
Both team benches were assessed unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Unfortunately for Florida, this meant that linebacker Vosean Joseph had to be ejected because that was his second unsportsmanlike foul. Oh, and Houston was obviously ejected for targeting. Mullen was asked about the whole incident at halftime and directed the questions to the SEC commissioner’s office.
As tense as this situation appeared to be, it’s not likely that this will develop into a serious thing moving forward. The two coaches met at midfield after the game to exchange a hug and (hopefully) some pleasant words to one another. Of course, it could just be because Florida has now won 27 of its last 28 games against Vanderbilt, a streak that goes all the way back to 1989.