HEAD TO HEAD: VANDERBILT VS. FLORIDA

Vanderbilt meets Florida on Saturday Vanderbilt Stadium. VandyMania.com's Don Yates compares the two teams in several critical areas. He also makes a prediction on the game's final score.

VANDERBILT PASSING OFFENSE
VS.
FLORIDA PASSING DEFENSE
EDGE: EVEN
REMARKS: Vanderbilt ranks 110th nationally and 12 in the SEC in passing offense (177 YPG). Johnny McCrary has emerged as starting quarterback after a helter-skelter musical chairs fiasco of quarterbacks for the first six games. Last week in the win over ODU McCrary completed 20 of 29 passes for 281 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions which earned him SEC Freshman of the Week honors. The 'Dores top receiver is Steven Scheu with 28 catches for a pair of touchdowns. C.J. Duncan has 25 catches for four TDs. Latevius Rayford has 21 catches. Vanderbilt eighth in the SEC in sacks allowed with 16.

The Gators are 50th nationally and eighth in the SEC in pass defense allowing 217 yards a game. Florida allowed 319 yards passing against Georgia last week. Florida defenders have intercepted eight passes this season with safety Keanu Neal leading the team with three. Florida has 20 sacks this season of opposing quarterbacks. Defensive tackle Jon Bullard and cornerback Jalen Tabor co-lead the Gators with four sacks each.

VANDERBILT RUSHING OFFENSE
VS.
FLORIDA RUSHING DEFENSE
EDGE: FLORIDA
REMARKS: Vanderbilt is 110th nationally in rushing offense, gaining 118 yards per game on average. Redshirt freshman Ralph Webb, a Gainesville, Fla., native, is the leading rusher for Vanderbilt with 760 yards on 169 carries (4.5 YPC) with three touchdowns. Last week in the win over Old Dominion he had 166 yards on 31 carries (5.4 YPC). Dallas Rivers is a big, strong running back who has gained 185 yards on 45 carries (4.1 YPC).

Florida has a strong rushing defense ranking 22nd nationally and second in the SEC while giving up just 121 yards per game. Last week in a 38-20 win over Georgia, the Gators held the normally powerful Bulldog running attack to just 141 yards. Linebacker Antonio Morrison leads the Gators in tackles with 67.

FLORIDA PASSING OFFENSE
VS.
VANDERBILT PASSING DEFENSE
EDGE: VANDERBILT
REMARKS: Florida ranks 113th nationally and 13th in the SEC in passing offense gaining just 174 yards per game. Last week in the win over Georgia the Gators attempted just six passes completing three of them for 27 yards. Florida's passing game has only eclipsed the 200 yard mark twice this season, against Eastern Michigan (396) and the overtime win over Kentucky (295). The Gators used freshman Treon Harris as quarterback last week. In four games this season he's passed for 290 yards while completing 15-of-24 passes for three TDs and an interception. Demarcus Robinson leads Florida in receptions with 35 for 535 yards and four touchdowns. The Gators are tied for third in the SEC with 11 sacks allowed on the year.

Vanderbilt is 71st nationally and 10th in the SEC in passing defense (232.7 YPG). The Commodores have intercepted four passes this season with cornerback Taurean Ferguson getting a team leading two. Oren Burks, who has only played in five games due to inury, has broken up six passes. Vanderbilt is 107th nationally in sacks made with 12.

FLORIDA RUSHING OFFENSE
VS.
VANDERBILT RUSHING DEFENSE
EDGE: FLORIDA
REMARKS: Florida is 38th nationally and seventh in the SEC in rushing offense (205 YPG). Last week in Jacksonville the Florida offense piled up an impressive 418 rushing yards. The 418 rushing yards are the second-most ever allowed by Georgia. Florida gained a season low of 107 rushing yards in an earlier 42-21 loss to Alabama. Running back Matt Jones leads Florida in rushing with 616 yards in 113 carries for five TDs. Kelvin Taylor has averaged 5.8 yards per carry while gaining 397 yards.

Vanderbilt allows 171 rushing yards per game on average, good for 74th in the nation and 10th in the SEC. Last week the 'Dores held Old Dominion to just 45 yards rushing on 12 attempts. Middle linebacker Nigel Bowden leads the Commodores in tackles with 68. Torren McGaster is the second leading tackler with 49 stops.

SPECIAL TEAMS
EDGE: EVEN
REMARKS: Tommy Openshaw has been solid as a kicker making 6-of-8 field goals with a long of 42 yards. Colby Cooke averages 42.8 yards per punt with a long of 68 yards. He had 15 of his 49 punts downed inside of opponent's 20s. Darrius Sims averages 30 yards as a kick return man. Earlier in the season he returns two kickoffs for touchdowns against South Carolina. Sims (5.2 YPR) and Trey Ellis (6.2 YPR) have been sharing punt return duties. Vanderbilt has had both a field goal and punt blocked. The 'Dores have also blocked a punt and PAT themselves.

Frankie Velez has connected on 9-of-10 field goals with a long of 49 yards. Kyle Christy averages 44.7 yards per punt with a long of 66 yards. He's placed 15 inside opponent's 20s and has had 15 go over 50 yards. Andre Debose averages 22.6 yards per kickoff return with a long of 43. He also returns punts and averages a solid 19.7 yards with a long 62-yard scoring return. UF return coverage units have allowed both kickoff and punt returns for TDs.

COACHING
EDGE: FLORIDA
REMARKS: Vanderbilt's Derek Mason is in his first season as a head coach and has led the 'Dores to a 3-6 record. He won his first college victory against UMass earlier in the season. In 2012 Mason was a finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top assistant coach, after directing a defense that ranks among the best in the nation and finest in Stanford history. Mason has some NFL coaching experience serving stints with the Vikings, Raiders, Giants and Rams.

Will Muschamp is 26-19 in his fourth season at Florida. He's led the Gators to berths in the Sugar and Gator Bowls. Previous to Florida he was an assistant at LSU, Auburn, Texas and with the Miami Dolphins. He played his college ball at the University of Georgia.

INTANGIBLES
EDGE: EVEN
REMARKS: Vanderbilt trails the all-time series with Florida 34-10-2. Florida also leads in games played in Nashville 16-7-1. However, Vandy won last year in Gainesville 34-17. Florida is coming off an emotional victory over Georgia and might be ripe for a letdown. Vanderbilt is tied for last in the SEC in turnover margin with a rating of -0.89 (-8) rate. Florida is tied for eighth in the SEC with a 0.00 rate (+0) rate. Vanderbilt is last in the SEC in red zone offense (77.3%) while Florida is first scoring 96 percent of the time. Vanderbilt is 12th in red zone defense (91.7% scores allowed) while Florida is eighth (85.7%).

PREDICTION: Florida 24, Vanderbilt 17.

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