Game Day Headquarters: Gators vs. Commodores

The Gators just need to stay focused and play their game and the outcome should be one to their liking on Saturday.

#10 Florida Gators (7-1, 5-1) vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (3-5, 1-3)

Saturday November 7, 2015; 12 Noon

Gainesville, Florida; Ben Hill Griffin Stadium


A look at the entire Florida schedule and it appears that Florida has already made it through the gauntlet part of this schedule with an October full of games and none in The Swamp. Finally back home, it is Homecoming and Vanderbilt is the first team in November. It should be down hill from here.

The magic number for Florida’s scoring on Saturday should be 20. Outside of a game with lower division Austin Peay in which Vanderbilt scored 47 points, the Commodores have not scored more than 17 in any other game. The Commodores average 15.75 points per game, 13th in the 14 team SEC. The Gators are almost exactly double that scoring 31 points per game.

Vandy has played some decent defenses along the way, but none like they will be matched up with on Saturday. This side of the contest seems extremely lopsided and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Florida defense outscored the Vanderbilt offense on the day.

Honestly, the other side of the ball favors Vanderbilt. With as bad as their offense has been it hasn’t been easy on the defense. Yet, they are fifth in the SEC only allowing 18.5 points per game. They are 7th in the SEC allowing 208.5 yards per game passing and 4th  in rush defense allowing just 114.9 yards per game. Those numbers combine to make them 6th in the conference in total defense and just 20 yards per game behind the Gators pace.  This defense is pretty tough and is run now by head coach Derek mason.

“I see a defense that is ranked nationally and getting a ton of short fields,” Florida head coach Jim McElwain said earlier in the week. “They are holding people out of the end zone. They are winning on third down and their red zone numbers are fantastic as far as touchdown production. Going back and watching the 2013 season of Stanford and breaking down all of those games, seeing how (Mason) thinks in his calls, you see a guy that knows exactly what he wants to do and his guys are executing it.”

Vanderbilt had a miserable first year under Mason in 2014 and started off this year in the tank. They have somewhat rebounded. They ran into a snake pit in Houston last week with a resounding loss, but they have played tight games in three of  their last four and won two of them.  McElwain sees the light coming on for the Commodores, especially on defense.

“You watch the sideline and the energy of the people on the sideline, players, coaches, it doesn’t matter… the energy when their defense is on the field, they expect to be good,” Florida’s head coach said. “They expect to make that third down stop. I think that is a credit to Derek and what he’s done. They’ve done a good job and I don’t think there is a player that has played them that would say anything different.”

The Matchup…

As stated, the Florida defense should have their way with the Vanderbilt offense. Look for Vandy to lean on running back Ralph Webb, a Gainesville native. If the Gators can put a few touchdowns on the board, this one could get real early if Vandy is left to passing the ball.

Key for Florida is not turning the ball over on offense and that is part of the reason I think we will see the running game used as much as possible on Saturday. The gators have lost only three fumbles all year and only one by a running back.  That is the kind of statistic that McElwain will lean on in this game with a defense that should be able to pretty much blank the Commodores.

The Commodores rank tops in the SEC in third down defense allowing opponents to convert just 25% of the time. That makes it important for the Gators to do well on forst and second downs and get to short third down conversions. The Gators are over 60% in converting third downs of four yards or less to go.

So what will happen?  The Gator defense will hold theor own, I think they will score or at least come close to scoring on Saturday at least once. The offense will rely on the running game and try and get freshman Jordan Scarlett involved there. They need to let this offensive line mature a bit and although schematic wise Vanderbilt is tough, they won’t be more physical than most of the teams Florida has faced. I think with a defensive score the Gators can put some decent numbers up. I have been reluctant to go big win this season, but will go Florida 31-6.

Gators Offensive Two-Deep


WR #11 (JR)Demarcus Robinson (6-1, 208) #5 (JR) Ahmad Fulwood (6-4, 210) 
WR #81 (FR) Antonio Callaway (5-11, 206) #10 (SR) Valdez Showers 
WR #4 (SO) Brandon Powell (5-9, 185) #89 (R-SO) Alvin Bailey (5-11, 189)
LT #75 (R-SR) Mason Halter (6-6, 295) #73 (FR) Martez Ivey (6-5, 311)
LG #73 (FR) Martez Ivey (6-5, 311) #52 (R-FR) Travaris Dorsey (6-2, 321)
OC #54 (R-SO) Cameron Dillard (6-4, 311) #64 (FR) Tyler Jordan (6-4, 294)
RG #63 (R-SR) Trip Thurman (6-5, 307) #51 (R-SO) Antonio Riles (6-4, 312)
RT #74 (FR) Fred Johnson (6-6, 312) #63 (R-SR) Trip Thurman (6-5, 307)
TE #83 (R-SR Jake McGee (6-6, 244) #80 R-FR) Cyontai Lewis (6-4, 233)
RB #21 (JR) Kelvin Taylor (5-10, 206) #25 (FR) Jordan Scarlett (6-0, 205)
QB #3 (SO) Treon Harris (5-11, 198) #15 (R-JR) Jacob Guy (6-5, 222)


Gators Defensive Two-Deep


DE #94 (R-JR) Bryan Cox (6-3, 265) #96 (FR) CeCe Jefferson (6-1, 270)
NT #91 (JR) Joey Ivie (6-3, 290) #93 (R-FR) Taven Bryan (6-3, 290)
DT #90 (JR) Jonathan Bullard (6-3, 280) #57 (R-SO) Caleb Brantley (6-2, 303)
RUSH #14 (R-JR) Alex McCalister  #17 (R-SO) Jordan Sherit (6-4, 250)
MLB #3 (SR) Antonio Morrison (6-1, 234) #48 (R-SR) Anthony Harrell (6-2, 237)
WLB #40 (JR) Jarrad Davis (6-2, 232) #23 (JR) Jeremi Powell (6-1, 221)
Saf #42 (JR) Keanu Neal (6-1, 215) #26 (R-SO) Marcell Harris (6-1, 211) 
Saf #20 (R-JR) Marcus Maye (6-0, 210)  #8 (R-SO) Nick Washington (6-0, 189)
NIC #24 (SR) Brian Poole (5-10, 208) #7 (SO) Duke Dawson (5-11, 201)
CB #1 (JR) Vernon Hargreaves (5-11, 200) #35 (FR) Chris Williamson (6-0, 185)
CB #6 (SO) Quincy Wilson (6-1, 210) #31 (SO) Jalen Tabor (6-0, 197)

Gators Special Teams


K #16 (R-JR) Austin Hardin (5-10, 205) #34 (SR) Neil MacInnes (6-4, 219)
#19 (R-SO) Johnny Townsend (6-1, 200) #16 (R-JR) Austin Hardin (5-10, 205)
KOR #4 (SO) Brandon Powell (5-9, 185) #81 (FR) Antonio Callaway (5-11, 206)
PR #81 (FR) Antonio Callaway (5-11, 206) #4 (SO) Brandon Powell (5-9, 185)
LS #41 (FR) Ryan Farr (6-0, 213) #47 (R-JR) Jonathan Haney (6-2, 210)
H #19 (R-SO) Johnny Townsend (6-1, 200)

And here is a rundown of our coverage of the football team for the week…

Gators' Josh Grady has flipped sides

Gators host big time prospects for Vandy game

Gators' opponent Preview: Vanderbilt

Gators playing for each other

McElwain wants fans to come early

Gators get clarity on the offensive line

Gators learn from Fournette's performance

Gators with good practices so far this week

Scout Battleground: Gators #10 in initial College Football Playoff Rankings

Gators still remember 2013 Vanderbilt loss

Gators Offensive Breakdown: UGA Game

McGee thankful for extra year

Gators preparing for early kickoff

Competition drives Tabor

Fightin' Gators Rapid Recap: Vandy Week

McElwain wants Gators to respond after win

OLine injuries cause major shuffle

Fightin Gators Top Stories