Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Three Keys: Vanderbilt vs. Florida

The Vanderbilt Commodores host 23rd ranked Florida on Saturday at Vanderbilt Stadium. Here are your three keys to a Commodore victory.

Key No. 1: Establish the passing game early

Florida is one of the top defensive teams nationally, ranking fourth in the country in total defense (221 ypg).  The Gators are particularly solid at stopping the run allowing just 76.5 yards on average per game. The Commodores need to come out throwing on the Gators and this should open up things for Ralph Webb and Khari Blasingame later. Vandy showed last week that Kyle Shurmur has the ability to make throws in stressful situations. Allow Shurmur to continue to hone his skills while also opening things up for Webb and company.  

Key No. 2: Score first

Florida is just 1-3 under Jim McElwain when their opponent scores first.  Maybe it's a mental thing or maybe it's just a coincidence, who knows?  But scoring first can't hurt things and will do great things for the Black & Gold's morale. If Vandy can score first it will also help liven up the crowd, give the team some momentum and put some pressure on the Gators.  

Key No. 3: Black Death Defense returns

Vanderbilt's highly acclaimed defense hasn't been seen since the first half of the South Carolina game. Since then the 'Dores have given up over 1,500 yards to opponents. They've made a few good stands and generated some turnovers but it just isn't the same stout unit Vandy had in 2015. The Commodores need for the defense that held Florida to only nine points in Gainesville a year ago come home. If it does,  the Gators had better look out.  

If the Commodores can pull off a stunner it will help make up for the second half debacle against South Carolina. Well, really, you can never get back a blown game but a victory would put the 'Dores halfway to bowl eligibility.

Saturday's game kicks off at 11 am and can be seen on the SEC Network.   


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