Nik's Commodore Keys – Florida

Many Commodore fans got one of their wishes when the Commodores offense finally clicked against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Unfortunately, the Commodores (2-7, 0-5 SEC) now find themselves ineligible for post-season play, without their starting quarterback, and struggling on defense as well as offense. So, how do the Commodores, 33 point underdogs, go about beating Florida (8-0, 6-0 SEC)?

Tiny Tim?

For any team playing Florida, the first priority has to be stopping outstanding Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who has thrown for 14 touchdowns and averages nearly 200 yards per game passing.  Tebow has only thrown 4 interceptions.  After last week's horrid defensive performance against John Nesbitt and the Yellow Jackets, the defense needs to step up.  It starts with cornerback Myron Lewis.  A pre-season All-American, Lewis has not been making the plays that he needs to make for the offense to be successful.  Of course, great pressure from the defensive line, which includes ends Broderick Stewart and Steven Stone.  Florida's rushing attack is not a joke either, but if the Commodores can shut down the passing offense, they might stand a chance. 

Mac

Senior Mackenzie Adams will take the helm for the Commodores for the first time this season.  He looked a little rusty, but not bad, against an average Georgia Tech defense.  Adams has not performed well in many of his starts, and his best moments have come from the bench.  But, this is Adams's show now, and he has a chance to close his Vanderbilt career on a high note if he can do the unthinkable: beat Florida.  Mac will need a great game from his receivers and offensive line if he is to have success, but he simply needs to concentrate on making the right throws and reads, and not doing anything too fancy that would risk turnovers.  Vanderbilt will have a tough time winning this game as it is; turnovers are just going to make it harder. 

Penalties

Uncharacteristically for the Commodores, they are getting sloppy and killing themselves in the foot.  This year, it has cost them several potential wins, and has put the offense into a bad situation.  Quite frankly, they must stop getting these illegal formation penalties that they have picked up in the past few games.  It's time for Bradley Vierling to start being a leader of this team and holding himself and his teammates responsible for these penalties.  Like turnovers, if Vanderbilt commits pointless penalties, they do not stand a chance. 

History

Florida leads the all-time series 31-9-2. Vanderbilt trails the series 2-17-1 at Florida.  Vanderbilt Coach Bobby Johnson is 0-7 against the Gators (0-4 against Coach Urban Meyer).  Meyer is 4-0 against Vanderbilt and head coach Bobby Johnson.

First meeting: Vanderbilt 7 Florida 0 (1945)

Last Meeting: Florida 42 Vanderbilt 14 (2008 in Nashville)


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