Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Three keys to a Vanderbilt win over Florida

The Vanderbilt Commodores travel to Gainesville on Saturday to face the Florida Gators. Here are your three keys to a Commodore win.

1)  Sound Coaching

The coaching staff has got to be smarter if the team is going to win another game.  On fourth and one at Vandy's own 30, the team didn't even try to draw Houston off sides, they just punted away and gave it to Houston.  It's also not smart to have a player who throws lots of interceptions dropping back to throw deep in your own territory.  That led to two Houston touchdowns.  The Commodores have a strong defense.  At least make the opponents have to advance a considerable distance before scoring.  

2) Offense scores points

You can't lose if the opponent can't score.  On the same token, you can't win if you are unable to score points.   Vanderbilt needs to do whatever it takes to move the ball and score points.  Be it fake field goals or fake punts, trick plays, or whatever; the coaching staff needs to figure out a way for the team to get on the score board.  One tip, don't try to run up the middle against a team that has a very strong defensive line.  Also, maybe running the wildcat instead of throwing quaterbacks who have completed twice as twice as many interceptions as touchodowns might be an option.  Woody Hayes once said of passing, "Only three things can happen when you pass and two of them ain't good."   Vandy has had more than its share of one of those two bad things.   Keeping the ball on the ground might at least help the team quit gifting opponents with easy scores.  

3) Solid special teams

Shanked punts, missed field goals and the lack of big returns by the punt and kickoff teams have hurt the team.  Vanderbilt needs for all special teams to excel in order to have a chance of beating the Gators. Darrius Sims returned two kickoffs in one game last year, how about him repeating half of that in a game?  All Tommy Openshaw’s misses haven't been his fault but he needs to be more consistent both punting the ball and kicking field goals.  



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