Five things to know about Vanderbilt…
Newest quarterback… The Commodores have started four different quarterbacks this year but want to settle on the newest guy. Red-shirt freshman quarterback Johnny McCrary (6-4, 230) is making his second start for the Commodores. He threw for five touchdowns last week in the Vanderbilt 42-21 win over Old Dominion and threw for two touchdowns in the 24-14 loss at Missouri. He is athletic but has only rushed for 14 yards in the two games.
Offense is missing… The Commodores are last (14th) in the SEC in scoring offense putting up just 19.9 points per game and just 13 points per SEC contest. They are almost a full touchdown per game behind 13th rated Tennessee’s 26.2 points per game. They are also last in total offensive yardage gaining just over 295 yards per game.
Defense hampered… I believe there defense is a little better than this but has been hampered by their ineffectiveness on offense. Still they are 13th in scoring defense, giving up 32.2 point per game and they are 11th in total defense giving up 403.6 yards per contest.
Gainesvillian is Dore’s leading rusher… Red-shirt freshman Ralph Webb went to high school at Gainesville HS, a couple of miles from the Florida campus. Webb is outing up 84.4 yards per game for the Commodores, good for ninth in the SEC and just behind Florida junior Matt Jones (88/game).
Got to cover kicks… Vanderbilt sophomore kick returner Darrius Sims (5-9, 182) has already returned two touchdowns from kickoffs this season. The Gators can’t have a mishap on special teams like they did against Missouri two games ago.
Five things we need to see from Florida…
Take the training wheels off a little… No need to go crazy, but Vanderbilt is 10th in the conference in pass defense giving up 232 passing yards per game and 15 touchdowns in their nine games. Time to let Treon Harris do a little damage through the air and get a little confidence for the end of the year run. A little bit of trust will be involved, but it is something that has to be done before the year is out anyway.
Get after the QB… Vandy’s new quarterback has started two games and given up three sacks in the two games. Vanderbilt is 10th overall in the SEC in terms of sacks allowed. It is time to get after the quarterback a little and don’t let him establish anything in this game.
Debose and Powell need to be ready… Vandy is last in the conference in kick coverage. They have only given up one touchdown, but they give up a lot of creases. The return game at Florida has been superb and Andre Debose and Brandon Powell have both done well. The only problem might come in that Vandy doesn’t kick off very much from lack of scoring, but that is a good problem.
Win turnover margin… Gators are even now having turned the ball over 17 times now and taken the ball away 17 times as well. Vanderbilt is -8 on the year losing almost one turnover more or game than their opponents. It is time for Florida to take advantage of that again like they were doing early in the season.
500 and 35… The Gators are averaging 379 yards per game of offense, the most of any non-Tebow year since 2004. Likewise the Gators are averaging 30 points per game, the most of any of those same years. Getting 35 points and 500 yards would get them within a yard or two of actually reaching the yardage of the 2006 season (the first of Tebow) and putting some distance on the scoring average. It may be an odd request, but the Gators are about to face four of the bottom five defenses on their schedule in terms of current rankings this season.