Three Keys: Vanderbilt vs. Florida

Vanderbilt gets to take on yet another top ten opponent this week as the Florida Gators head to Nashville. Vandy seems to have turned things around after a slow start while the Gators have a legitimate shot at the National Championship. Here are some of the keys which will help the Commodores pull off the signature upset that the program craves.

1) Spring the trap

When the phrase 'trap game' was coined this is exactly the type of matchup that was envisioned. The Gators are heading to Nashville after a 14-6 revenge victory over LSU and they have an epic winner takes all showdown with South Carolina next weekend. That leaves the Commodores as nothing more than a bump in the road which the Gators will crush without raising so much as a sweat on Saturday.

History too backs up this way of thinking. The 'Dores have lost 21 straight to the Gators with the last win coming way back when Roger Rabbit was relevant (1988). To put it in a nutshell, Florida could be overlooking this game. Vandy either needs to get hot early and jump out to a lead, or play one of those games where they just stick around in striking distance until the fourth quarter. Either strategy will perfectly fit the trap game mentality and give Vanderbilt a chance to win.

2) Stop the run

This Florida team is going to run, run, then run some more. The Gators average 47 rushes per game (among of the most in the nation) and have one of the more lopsided run/pass ratios out there. Against LSU the Gators threw the ball just 12 times and ran on each of the last 25 snaps to put the game away. The combination of a tough, physical offensive line and the ability of tailback Mike Gillislee to hit the hole hard mean that even though Vanderbilt knows what is coming it is still going to be difficult to stop. If the Commodores can slow down the run and put the decision making in the hands of sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel then the defense will have its chance to make big plays.

3) Run the ball

This weekend is going to be old school SEC smash mouth football at its best. The Florida front seven has been outstanding all season and the group helped hold LSU to just 42 yards rushing last Saturday. For Vanderbilt to have a chance in this one they need to keep the Florida defense honest, and to do that Zac Stacy has to be able to run the ball. If the blocking is on point and Stacy is running as hard as we know he can then he can put up the 100 yard day he will need to give the 'Dores a shot at pulling off an upset for the ages.

Inside The Os Top Stories