Week 10: Florida Gators at Vanderbilt Commodores

By Adam Silverstein
November 5, 2010

Location: Vanderbilt Stadium – Nashville, TN [Capacity: 39,790]
Weather Forecast: 47°F, sunny
Time: 12:21 p.m. (EST)

TV: SEC Network
Sirius/XM: 220/199
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

FLORIDA GATORS VANDERBILT COMMODORES
Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Robbie Caldwell
Record: 5-3 (3-3) Record: 2-6 (1-4)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -14.5; O/U 46

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Florida leads the all-time series 32-9-2 against Vanderbilt, are 13-7-1 in Nashville and have not lost this match-up since 1988, a streak of 19 consecutive victories.
» In their last three games against the Commodores, the Gators have won by an average of 26.3 points. The previous two contests were decided by an average of 6.5 points including a 49-42 double overtime victory in Meyer’s first season – 2005.
» Florida is tied for the national lead with 16 interceptions on the season. Six have been returned for more than 30 yards – three for touchdowns.
» The Gators are now 27-for-36 in the red zone in 2010 with 23 touchdowns and four field goals. Earlier this season, Florida had a run of 15 straight scores inside the red zone including 14 touchdowns.
» UF is unranked for the first time under Meyer. The Gators had been listed in every poll since he took over in 2005 until they lost to Mississippi State two weeks ago.
» For the first time in their last few games, Florida outranks their opponent in all four major statistical averages. UF is 80th in passing yards (190.9), 58th in rushing yards (153.3), 55th in points scored (28.4) and 34th in points against (20.3) compared to Vanderbilt being 110th in passing yards (114.1), 77th in rushing yards (142.6), 105th in points scored (18.3) and 78th in points against (27.9). Both fell to LSU, but UF defeated Georgia 34-31 in overtime last week, while VU fell 43-0 to them three weeks ago.
» The Gators’ offense has seen 12 different players overall score a touchdown this year – including defense and special teams.
» Florida is the only school in the nation that has four players with at least three interceptions. Overall, seven Gators have at least one interception.
» UF under Meyer is 40-1 when holding an opponent under 16 points, 29-3 when shutting an opponent out in the fourth quarter, 37-3 when holding an opponent to 35 percent or less on third down, 37-2 when giving up two or less big plays (15-yard run/25-yard pass) and 32-3 when the Gators defense scores or creates three turnovers.
» Vanderbilt defensive ends coach Mike Pelton was the defensive line coach under current Florida DL coach Dan McCarney when he was head coach of Iowa State.
» Three pairs of players were former high school teammates: Gators redshirt freshman left tackle Matt Patchan and Commodores offensive lineman Justin Cabbagestalk (Armwood – Tampa, FL), senior cornerback Moses Jenkins and defensive back Steven Clarke (Boyd H. Anderson – Lauderdale Lakes, FL), and redshirt sophomore CB Jeremy Brown and defensive end Johnell Thomas (Boone – Orlando, FL).

KEEP AN EYE ON…

FLORIDA
» Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley…who had thrown 156 consecutive passes without an interception dating back to 2009, now has a 6-6 TD/INT ratio this season after throwing another pick last week. He has completed 145-of-233 passes (62.2 percent) for 1,459 yards and has a passer rating of 118.2.
» Freshman QB Trey Burton…who set a school record and SEC freshman record by scoring six touchdowns in a single game against Kentucky. He has 10 scores on the season, has played five positions, is second on the team in rushing (49 carries for 248 yards) and is seeing even more time behind center with the team wanting to run the ball better out of the option.
» Junior running back Jeff Demps…who is averaging 6.3 yards per carry and still leads the Gators in rushing (488 yards) after missing a full game and being limited in four others. He was Florida’s leading rusher in its first five games of the season.
» Redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey..who returned to action for the first time in over a month against Georgia and has 20 carries for 100 yards (along with 8 receptions for 43 yards) and two touchdowns this year.
» Sophomore WR Frankie Hammond, Jr.…who is quickly becoming one of Florida’s most important pass catchers. He was the team’s leading receiver against Mississippi State and caught three passes for 46 yards against Georgia.
» Senior punter Chas Henry…who is the end-all be-all of Florida’s kicking game now that he has taken over for junior Caleb Sturgis (back) as the team’s field goal kicker. Henry had missed five-straight field goal attempts (one negated by penalty) before nailing back-to-back kicks in the fourth quarter and overtime last week.
» Florida’s secondary…which has intercepted 11 balls this season including three last week against Georgia. Starters senior safety Ahmad Black (three), junior CB Janrois Jenkins, redshirt sophomore CB Jeremy Brown (three), and junior S Will Hill (two) have accounted for all of the unit’s picks.
» Black…who has led Florida in tackles five times this season: vs. LSU (13), Georgia (12), Miami (10), Mississippi State (10) and USF (8). He is tops on the team overall with 73 tackles, including five for loss.

VANDERBILT
» QB Larry Smith…a dual threat signal caller who has completed 89-of-176 passes this season for 1,030 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions. Smith has also carried the ball 75 times for 205 yards (2.7 average) with a long of 57 and three touchdowns on the ground.
» CB Casey Haward…who shares the NCAA lead with five interceptions on the season and is the first Commodore in team history to grab a pick in four consecutive games.
» DE Tim Fugger…who ranks third nationally with four forced fumbles and is already third all-time in Vanderbilt’s single-season ranks in the category.

INJURIES and INACTIVES
Injuries
Active – Junior RB Jeff Demps (foot), sophomore RB Mike Gillislee (hamstring), redshirt senior RB Emmanuel Moody (thigh)
Probable – Redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose
Questionable – Freshman WR Robert Clark

Inactives
Redshirt junior DT Jaye Howard (ankle), redshirt sophomore LT Matt Patchan (broken wrist), junior K Caleb Sturgis (back), sophomore LB Dee Finley (fractured collarbone), freshmen RB Mack Brown, WRs Quinton Dunbar and Chris Dunkley (hamstrings)

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators at Vanderbilt Commodores preview after the jump!

Florida Gators at Vanderbilt Commodores Preview

Just one week after his team celebrated what head coach Urban Meyer deemed one of the marquee wins of his career, the Florida Gators (5-3, 3-3 SEC) travel to Nashville, TN, to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-6, 1-4 SEC) in a Southeastern Conference Eastern division showdown on Saturday afternoon at Vanderbilt Stadium.

After losing three consecutive regular season games for the first time since 1988, Florida rebounded last week against Georgia to win its 18th contest in the last 21 years against arguably their biggest rival. The Gators take an even more impressive streak into their match-up against the Commodores, having won 19 straight games (also dating back to 1988) in the long-time series.

Meyer and his Florida team bring a newfound confidence in their offense into Nashville after implementing an up-tempo, no-huddle “bonzai” system that accounted for 450 total yards and 34 points against a talented Georgia defense. Against that same unit three weeks ago, Vanderbilt was held scoreless in a 43-0 rout.

The Commodores are also handicapped offensively going into the contest, learning that leading rusher and return specialist Warren Norman would miss the remainder of the season after dislocating his right wrist and undergoing surgery on Tuesday.

The Gators are looking to keep their hopes of representing the East in the 2010 SEC Championship alive with a win. Should they be victorious, next Saturday’s game against South Carolina in Gainesville, FL, will be a de facto SEC East title game with the winner moving on to Atlanta, GA.

Catch the Gators’ ninth game of the season live on television on the SEC Network, online at ESPN3.com, via the radio or through OGGOA‘s live updates on Twitter.

13 Comments

  1. PGator says:

    Based on their past performances, if Vanderbilt scores more than a touchtown on our D, the next couple of weeks will NOT look good… no matter how much better the O may be.

  2. Mr2Bits says:

    Gators win running away 45-7

  3. John S says:

    Hopefully the offense will work out the kinks and the defense will improve. I’ll take nothing for granted this year.

    I’m also hoping the receivers will catch the ball in the endzone so poor Brantley will get credit for our drives.

    Go Gators!

  4. Mr2Bits says:

    I take that back. Offensive line and Brantley both look like ass….we’ll be lucky to win at all today. It’s like last week never even happened as were playing like we did against MissSt.

  5. Mr2Bits says:

    I find it humorous that the announcers know when we are going to run and pass as I didn’t see it until they pointed it out. They just pointed out that if our O-Line is standing up, we are going to pass, if there are down in their stance, we are going to run. Is our O-Line really that predictable? It’s like we’re tipping our pitches.

  6. Mr2Bits says:

    Ok now we are putting it all together. Wow what a difference Rainey makes.

  7. Luke says:

    What a difference a good quarterback makes. I hope Brantley was benches for good in favor of Reed/Burton.

  8. liveoak87 says:

    @Luke Makes me wonder why Jeff Driskel is coming? will he be another brantley?

  9. John S says:

    I think Brantley is a good quarterback, but Addazio and our O line are incapable of protecting a pocket passer. When he has time he’s very good. When people come unblocked he’s screwed. I do prefer Reed over Burton, but a good defense will make us pay if we throw the ball with him in the game. The defense played very well, hopefully the defensive interceptions will continue next week.

    Big road victory, good job guys, Go Gators.

  10. Basshole says:

    I have to agree with John. Reed obviously has a cannon, but I could definitely see him throwing a lot of picks (all though Brantley could have had three today, easy). I think Brantley is good, but it seems like we can’t protect him well early. We will have moments later in the game, where he looks great, but it seems like the first few times he drops back he is blasted by a defender coming in untouched. How can a QB get comfortable that way?

    Sorry to be negative, that was a good win and it was nice to see the Gators turning it on. After Hammonds, Jr. scored, the Gators had as many points as Vandy had yards. Also, Sharriff was an absolute beast today.

  11. Luke says:

    I wondered about Driskel as well, but he’s supposed to be more of a dual threat. I really feel bad for Brantley because his loyalty to UF and our inability to develop a pro style QB will mean he won’t play on Sunday.

    Nice to finally see the coaches open up the play book against the worst team in the league. Too bad we couldn’t try a few of those vs MSU or LSU. Let’s just beat the cocks and win out. 10-3 will be a decent end to the season…

  12. zach says:

    This offense needs a dual threat QB to be successful, I thought Reed threw the ball really well for not playing QB in almost a year. It will be interesting to see how Urb handles the QB situation next weekend. I also think the Freshman on defense are starting to figure it out. Floyd and Powell are playing really good right now.

  13. Escambia94 says:

    Reed/Burton should start at QB from here on out. Brantley can still try for the NFL. Scouts will take pity on him for following Tebow, and being forced to pass out of an option attack. He would do well in NFL combines. If he comes back next year, he will be screwed, unless he is okay with being on the bench.

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