NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When it was over, they held a brief team meeting on the field, then spread out across the turf near the locker room and promptly celebrated a workmanlike win in lunch-pail fashion.
The place was empty besides stadium personnel, UF’s traveling party and around 125 family members who made the trip.
As a few players talked to family in the stands, most of the Gators chomped on chicken sandwiches.
“Different atmosphere,” UF head coach Dan Mullen said.
It was that type of day Saturday at Vanderbilt Stadium. Sixth-ranked Florida’s 38-17 win over the Commodores is one the Gators probably won’t forget anytime soon. Not so much from what transpired on the field – actually, their ears might still be ringing from the loud music that played throughout the game – but more because of the unusual setting Mullen alluded to.
The Gators knew Saturday was going to be unique long before they landed here on Friday afternoon and checked into their team hotel. Even by the strange standards of 2020.
They knew the game started at 11 a.m. local time. They knew the stadium would be less-crowded than most of their high school games due to strict COVID-19 restrictions locally. They knew coming