|Football Bowl Subdivision|
· Top Story
· Gaming Matchup
· Injuries (A-M)
· Injuries (N-Z)
· Current Odds
· Live Odds
· Top-25 Scoreboard
· Full Scoreboard
· Top-25 Results
· AP · BCS
· Harris Interactive
· USA Today
· DIV II College
· DIV III College
· FCS College
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: November 5th, 12:21 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field (85,000) -- Gainesville, Florida. Television: SEC Network. Home Record: Vanderbilt 4-2, Florida 3-1. Away Record: Vanderbilt 0-2, Florida 1-2. Neutral Record: Vanderbilt 0-0, Florida 0-1. Conference Record: Vanderbilt 1-4, Florida 2-4. Series Record: Florida leads, 33-9-2.
GAME NOTES: Two SEC teams hoping to keep their postseason hopes alive will collide in Gainesville this weekend, as the Florida Gators entertain the Vanderbilt Commodores.
Vanderbilt opened the season with three consecutive victories under first-year head coach James Franklin, an impressive accomplishment considering the fact that the program managed just two wins all of last season. Unfortunately for Franklin and his players, they have tasted victory just once since that fast start. Four of the last five outings have resulted in defeat, including a 31-28 setback to Arkansas last weekend.
This game marks Florida's annual Homecoming celebration, and the hope is that the Gators can put a four-game losing streak to bed. Like the Commodores, UF is led by a first-year head coach in Will Muschamp, who is undoubtedly disappointed in the recent string of defeats after winning his first four games of the season. Last weekend, the Gators put up a tremendous fight against rival Georgia, but the result of that tilt was a 24-20 setback.
Florida owns a commanding 33-9-2 series advantage over Vanderbilt, and the Gators have won the last 20 meetings between the two.
Vanderbilt had a chance to force overtime against Arkansas last week, but a potential game-tying field goal sailed right. The Commodores posted 462 total yards in that game, as a well-balanced offensive attack netted over 220 yards both rushing and passing. QB Jordan Rodgers was impressive under center, as he completed 15-of-27 attempts for 240 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. The signal caller also ran for a pair of scores and finished with 66 rushing yards, second only to teammate Zac Stacy and his 128 yards. Stacy reached the end zone once, as did WR Jordan Matthews, who hauled in six balls for 151 yards.
So far this season, the 'Dores are generating 25.2 ppg and 320.2 total ypg, and it certainly appears that Rodgers will have the opportunity to lead the club at QB for the rest of the season. The younger brother of NFL star Aaron Rodgers, Jordan has completed fewer than half of his passes and has two more interceptions than passing TDs, but he has shown signs of improvement lately and poses a threat as a runner as well. Stacy has rushed for 707 yards and six TDs while averaging a gaudy 7.3 ypc.
The Commodores did a tremendous job of stopping the run against Arkansas last week, holding the Razorbacks to 72 yards on 26 attempts, an average of 2.8 ypc. The pass defense wasn't nearly as strong, but the fact is that the 'Dores surrendered only two TDs to the powerful Arkansas offense, an accomplishment that should have resulted in victory.
Opponents are scoring 22.8 ppg while gaining 331.9 total ypg against Vandy, which has certainly been up to the challenge defensively in many of its eight games. The Commodores permit a mere 3.3 rushing yards per attempt and have posted an impressive total of 15 interceptions to go along with 17 sacks and seven fumble recoveries. Chris Marve paces the club in tackles as expected with 61, while Casey Hayward (five INTs) and Tim Fugger (five sacks) have been impressive as well.
Florida welcomed John Brantley back from injury last week against Georgia, and he certainly looked healthy when he tossed a 31-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to give his squad a 7-0 lead. Unfortunately, for the Gators, that play marked the only offensive touchdown of the day, as they finished with an unthinkable minus-19 rushing yards on 22 attempts. Obviously, six sacks totaling 43 lost yards didn't help, but standout tailbacks Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps only carried the ball a total of 13 times. Brantley completed a mere 12-of-34 passes, but he did finish with 245 yards through the air.
UF is generating 26.0 ppg and 337.8 total ypg, numbers that fall short of what Gator fans expect. Muschamp's club is moving the chains on just 32 percent of its third-down conversion attempts and has turned the ball over 16 times, numbers that obviously need to improve. Brantley's numbers are uninspiring, just as they were last season. The best bet for Florida is to get the ball in the hands of Rainey and Demps as often as possible. Rainey leads the club in rushing (526 yds) and receiving (305 yds), while Demps is gaining 7.1 ypc as a runner.
The Gators permitted 354 total yards to Georgia last week and surrendered three touchdowns to the Bulldog offense over the final 32 minutes of the contest. Florida did limit Georgia to 3.8 yards per rushing attempt and held the Dawgs' QB under a 50 percent completion rating, but the effort simply wasn't strong enough to avoid defeat.
Muschamp is a defensive coach, so it isn't surprising that his team is yielding only 19.5 ppg and 297.2 total ypg. The Gators are permitting just 128.8 rushing ypg at a clip of 3.5 ypc, and they have only come up with eight takeaways, a figure that just isn't good enough. There are some solid players on defense for the club, but no one has put forth a star-caliber campaign to date.
Don't expect a fifth straight loss for the Gators this weekend, as they will not send their Homecoming crowd home unhappy. Demps and Rainey will make enough big plays, and the UF defense will hold Vandy in check.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida 27, Vanderbilt 13
11/02 10:33:31 ET
Powered by The Sports Network.