Florida Offensive Line vs Vanderbilt Defensive Line:
The Gators have moved Max Starks to starting right guard for the last two games and have given up only two sacks versus Arkansas and Georgia. With Jonathan Colon at left tackle it gives UF the combo of quickness at tackle and size at the right guard. This is done to create some depth and Lance Butler does play quite a bit at right guard. Vanderbilt has 52 tackles for loss and are led by quick defensive ends Jovan Haye and Chris Booker who are both sophomores. The tackles are average and Vandy likes to mix in a lot of slants and stunts to free up their front four. Teams are averaging 4.8 yards per carry and 182 yards rushing per game against them.
Florida Defensive Line vs Vanderbilt Offensive Line:
Travis Harris and Darrell Lee gave inspired performances last week against Georgia. Bobby McCray will be back in the rotation along with Steven Harris at end. Vanderbilt has had the same offensive line for five consecutive games and are led by Junior left tackle Justin Geisinger. He has 21 consecutive starts at offensive line in his career. They have only given up 14 sacks which, is fifth best in the SEC. They are not as good running the ball as a year ago but have improve their pass protection. Maurice Mitchell and Marcus Thomas could really dominate the middle of the line, especially freshman center Tom Sorensen. Vanderbilt averages 137 yards a game on the ground and will try to "angle" block UF in their option package.
Florida Passing Game vs Vanderbilt Secondary:
The Commodores start three sophomores and has only picked off six interceptions this season. The best performer is safety Kelechi Ohanaja who is very active around the line of scrimmage and is third on the team in tackles. They have only given up nine touchdown passes and do play a lot of zone coverage even behind some blitzes from their front seven. The pass defense is rated 19th in the country at 187 yards a game. It will be key for Chris Leak to recognize the zone blitzes and hit his inside receivers such as OJ Small and Ben Troupe.
Florida Defense vs Vanderbilt Offense:
The Commodores are more of a passing team than in recent years. Jay Cutler is a 59% passer with a 12-7 touchdown to interception ratio. Brandon Smith is there consistent receiver and he should be lined up on Johnny Lamar. Erik Davis is there touchdown threat and should match up with Ratliff. Cutler likes to use his top four receivers in the rotation as they have accounted for 95 receptions and 9 touchdowns. The tight ends and backs are not focul points of the offense. The Commodores are not as good at running the football only averaging 137 yards per game. They do however run enough option to keep the defense honest. Charlie Strong will have to time up his blitzes in pass situations only. The pressure should come from both outside linebacker spots this week. Vanderbilt is decent on third downs and had four drives averaging 82 yards each for scores against South Carolina.
Florida's punter Eric Wilbur is seconnd in the SEC, ninth in the country and first among freshman punters in the country. The net punting is not where Ron Zook would like it because UF must do a better job of covering and breaking down on Wilbur's booming kicks. Matt Leach is the reigning SEC Special Teams player of the Week and is very confident right now. Vanderbilt is awful in the kicking game and there only threat to do anything is Kwone Doster on kickoff returns. The Commodores have missed five field goals and are averaging just 18 yards per kickoff return.
Intangibles: This is where Vanderbilt has an edge on everyone in the conference. Teams are flat and not focused especially in Nashville. The Gators just finished the toughest three game stretch in the country and should be emotionally spent. But as Ron Zook said they are 60 minutes from going back to four weeks ago. Homecoming has always been a challenge for seniors and veteran players. The home crowd may provide a huge spark because of the fact the Gators have not been at home in a month and many fans were not on this three week road romp by Florida.
How will it play out?
Vanderbilt is capable of moving the football and running the clock and shortening the game. If they can avoid turnovers and cause a few, this game could be just as dicey as Kentucky. During this resurgence by Florida, they have won games with an aggressive gambling defense and an efficient big play offense. Look for the Gators to hit some more big plays in the passing game and also push a 200 yard day on the ground.