Location: Vanderbilt Stadium – Nashville, Tennessee [Capacity: 40,550]
Weather: 50°F (feels like 48°F), mostly cloudy, winds NNW at 6 mph
Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
TV: SEC Network (Dave Neal, Andre Ware, Laura Rutledge)
SiriusXM: 93/190 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter
|FLORIDA GATORS||VANDERBILT COMMODORES|
|Head Coach: Will Muschamp||Head Coach: Derek Mason|
|Record: 4-3 (3-3 SEC)||Record: 3-6 (0-5 SEC)|
|Conference: Southeastern||Conference: Southeastern|
Odds: Florida -14 | O/U 43.5
KEEP UP WITH THE GATORS
Busy during the week? Miss a feature, story or post on OnlyGators.com? No worries. Catch up on what you forgot to check out via the links below!
Story: Max Garcia gets emotional over Mike McNeely
Notebook: Two Florida starters out at Vanderbilt; updates from Will Muschamp
Notebook: Kurt Roper talks passing game, Jeff Driskel’s new role
The Silver Lining: Gators ready to overcome 2013 embarrassment by ‘Dores
Notebook: Florida looking for replacement for injured S Keanu Neal
Friday Final: Antonio Morrison stepping up for the Gators
SENIOR SENT HOME
Redshirt senior defensive tackle Leon Orr was sent home from Nashville, according to Florida. The Gators note that Orr was told he would not be starting (for the fifth-straight game, some of which he missed due to being injured) but would be “heavily involved in the game plan” as usual.
“He was more concerned with starting than being part of the team,” Muschamp said in a statement released by the school.
Junior defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard, who saw additional action on the interior when Orr was sidelined, is expected to step into his role while continuing to play out at the end.
HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS
» Florida is 35-10-2 all-time against Vanderbilt; the series between UF and VU dates back to 1945 with games being played annually since 1992. The Gators are 16-7-1 when playing the Commodores in Nashville with 11-straight road wins since 1990.
» Vanderbilt in 2013 broke Florida’s 22-game series winning streak. During those 22 games, the Gators outscored the Commodores by an average of 21.5 points per game.
» UF had lost six-straight games against top 25 opponents until beating Georgia last week. Florida is now 5-13 against ranked opponents under Muschamp.
» The Gators are 21-6 against unranked opponents under Muschamp and 12-4 against unranked SEC teams during his tenure after losing to LSU and Missouri – at home – in consecutive weeks this season.
» UF is 4-10 since Oct. 6, 2013, sporting the worst win-loss record in the SEC during that period.
» Four of Florida’s seven games this season have been decided by six points or fewer.
» This season is just the second in the last 28 years that the Gators have started 3-3 through their first six games.
» Florida’s offense is averaging 30.0 points per game, its most since 2009, while the defense is averaging 24.7 points per game, the worst since 2007.
» The Gators are second nationally and first in the SEC in red zone scoring, converting 24-of-25 chances. However, only 62.5 percent of those scores are touchdowns (15).
» Florida’s run defense has been superb, only allowing 25 runs of 10+ yards this season, sixth fewest in the nation.
» The Gators have also forced 41 three-and-outs on 100 opponent drives. At 5.86 per game, UF is first in the SEC and eighth nationally in that category.
» Florida is averaging 2.9 sacks per game, the most since Muschamp took over the program. The Gators’ 20 sacks through seven games are more than UF had in all of 2013, and their 42 quarterback hurries are more than the program’s had in any full season since Muschamp took over.
» Earlier this season, Florida was +8 in turnover margin. The team is now even on the year with a +7 margin in four wins and -7 margin in three losses.
INJURIES AND ABSENCES
» Probable (1): Redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel (back)
» Questionable (3): Freshman defensive lineman Gerald Willis (high ankle), freshman linebacker Daniel McMillian (head), redshirt freshman LB Matt Rolin (ACL)
» Out (6): Sophomore safety Keanu Neal (high ankle), senior right guard Trenton Brown (knee), redshirt senior tight end Jake McGee (leg – season), junior RB Mark Herndon (ACL – season), freshman defensive back J.C. Jackson (shoulder – season), freshman DT Thomas Holley (hip – season)
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Though players, coaches and fans all reveled in beating down the rival Bulldogs last week, the Gators as a program remain in a must-win situation going forward as a loss to the Dores would be equally as devastating as one last week, though for different reasons. After unexpectedly defeating Georgia, Florida suddenly finds itself with an outside chance to win the SEC East. A lot will need to unfold for it to happen, but UF has only itself to blame. Taking down Vanderbilt used to be a no-brainer for Florida, but a surprising defeat at the hands of the Commodores last season ended a 22-game series winning streak for the Gators…at home…on homecoming. Florida was embarrassed in 2013 and should have revenge on its collective mind entering this contest.
James Franklin’s departure has not sat well with VU, which has collapsed under Mason coming off a great 2013 season. Vanderbilt is winless in SEC play only has victories over UMass (by three points), Charleston Southern (by one) and Old Dominion (by 14). The Commodores have no business defeating the Gators on Saturday, but a win would be huge for Mason’s resume and the team’s confidence.