Signature win for ’Dores?

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Florida and Vanderbilt are 4-4 teams that seem to be going in opposite directions.

The Gators keep blundering their way through losses, while the Commodores continue to show dramatic improvement under first-year coach James Franklin and new starting quarterback Jordan Rodgers, the brother of Green Bay Packers’ star QB Aaron Rodgers.

While the Commodores seem to be generating momentum, the Gators seem stuck under a dark cloud in the form of their four-game losing streak that has basically ruined their season.

Things are bad for UF. But it could get worse. Losing to Vanderbilt on Homecoming in The Swamp would sink the Gators to new depths of depression. This is a game Florida absolutely has to win if the Gators hope to become bowl eligible.

Vanderbilt certainly is good enough to win this game. Florida, of course, is bad enough to lose it.

The Commodores have been on fire since Rodgers took over at quarterback in the Georgia game three weeks ago. In the past three games, Vandy has rushed for almost 800 yards (as compared to the Gators amassing 175 yards rushing during their four-game losing streak). In the last two games with Rodgers as the starter, the Commodores have averaged more than 450 yards a game in total offense.

While the Gators were falling all over themselves in a loss to Georgia last Saturday, the Commodores almost upset No. 8 Arkansas. Take away a crushing turnover (a 94-yard fumble return for a TD) early in the third quarter, and Vandy would have had its signature victory.

Maybe that signature win will come in The Swamp. I don’t think it will shock anybody if it does, given the way Florida has been playing.

But I do think the Gators have some things going for them. The defense, especially the front seven, has been improving. John Brantley’s ankle has gotten better and Charlie Weis may be able to run the offense he likes, but hasn’t been able to run since the first half of the Alabama game. And Florida should get some much-needed home energy after being on the road for most of the month of October.

Prediction: Florida 28, Vanderbilt 27.

37 COMMENTS

  1. I think the difference is going to be mindset and heart. Vandy comes into the game ”knowing” this is the best chance they have ever had to get a signature win against UF that they have never had. UF on the other hand comes into this game “knowing” this is the best chance Vandy has ever had to come in and hand them a signature loss. Those factors will intensify the bad play and penalties that had plagued UF this year, and will in turn intensify the recent trend of strong play Vandy has been able to attain. I think we will implode. UF 10 – Vandy 21

  2. “IF” our o-line doesn’t do thier job (haven’t so far) we very easily could lose to Vandy. This is possibly the worst o-line I’ve witnessed in my almost 50 years of Gator football. Yes we could use some big backs, but we do have Gillisee and Brown, I think we do as haven’t heard why they aren’t playing. But and I mean “BUT” the o-line must perform or it will be another long day.

  3. Vandy won’t be able to do much against our defense. And our special teams should do much better than theirs. It comes down to our offense vs. their fairly proficient defense. If we cut down on penalties, play even on turnovers and find some running room, we should win. In fact, I see this as a turnaround game, UF 33, Vandy 17.

  4. Redemption time fellas.

    This week with Brantley able to line up under center and Gillisee back from injury the offense will be able to be more dynamic(not one dimensional shotgun only like last week) and the d will hold vandy.

    UF 24 vandy 13

  5. I have ZERO confidence in our team this week.. the last 2 games were for the taking & were blown.. this team is lacking in fundamentals,focus & game preparedness.. this is on the backs of the coaching staff.. by now, we all can see how muschump was a risky hire & becoming more of a risk with every game.
    Why would this school of all schools hand over our program to an assistant coach with NO HEAD COACHING EXPERIENCE?? His demonstrative behavior on the field displaying such rage and profanity is shameful !! at this point in the season,we cant even line up properly before the snap! and our team is just like the coach:
    UNDISCIPLINED,and hard to watch ! !
    …be shocked to see him here same time next year!

  6. Vandy has a history of giving us fits, even in the “good” years. If we roll out the same ole stuff (stupid drive killing penalties, turnovers, trying to run the little backs up the middle) then it’s going to be another long afternoon. On the other hand, if we play like we did in the first 4 games of the season (without the penalties), we hang 50 on Vandy easily. Take what the defense gives you, check down to other receivers, design plays to get Demps/Rainey out in open space, use Gillisee, Brown and Reed up the middle, stay in your lanes, block and make tackles.

  7. Accurate observations by ‘Sir Chomps alot’ (not a great logo, however). To those in denial who are waiting for the ‘big back’ to solve our poor quality coaching, it ain’t going to happen. Foley has imposed another Zooker on the Gator Nation. This man makes a fool of himself with his sideline behavior. His team: cannot line-up on sides, cannot get plays in on time, are off-sides, etc. It is time for some serious thought aboutgetting serious with the program!!

  8. Me agree with Sir Chomps a Lot and EMK. The University of Flordia is above having to train an assistant coach to be a head coach. We should be able to go out there and land whatever head coach we want. We are Flordia! Hire the Boise State or TCU head coach. Gheeeeez loiuseee

  9. There was nothing wrong with UF until Brantley went down to injury and the offense tanked because of it, and against the nation’s toughest schedule with new coaches and new systems? Florida wins tomorrow over Vandy and it won’t be close. I hear this every few years about how “Vandy is improved” and threatens UF. Whatever. I’ve actually seen improvement with UF defensively their last two gamses and saw dramatic improvement in the special teams against UGA. As Brantley’s ankle improves, so will this Gator offense and it’s ability to move the ball, sustain drives, score points, and keep the D off the field and fresh. Gators win 37 – 14 tomorrow.

  10. Denial it runs strong among some in the Gator Nation. Brantley’s injury is the reason why W/M makes a fool of himself on the sidelines, Brantley’s injury is the reason why the Gator’s were called for 14 penalties last week. Brantley’s injury is the reason why the plays do not get in on time, Brantley’s injury is why the players cannot line on side, Brantley’s injury is the reason for the procedure penalties. QUESTION: Foley’s gets paid over 2 million dollars a year to do his job. Do the people who pay his salary deserve ‘due diligence when it comes to the hiring of a head football coach or is it OK for him to hire a person with NO head coaching resume based on ‘a feeling’. It flat-out p—– me off to see such incompetence on a weekely basis!!

  11. Hear Hear EMK!

    Fooley had selected Muschump at the end of 2009 when Urban “retired” the first time. Then when it happened again in 2010, Fooley was too lazy to go out and find a good coach. So he took an assistant coach who was coming off a 5-7 record.

    Here at UF, we are a top ten school in the nation. We deserve a head coach who has previous head coaching experience.

    Fire Fooley!!!!!!!!!

  12. Muschamp was a bad hire? You must be the same guys who were calling for Driskell to start instead of Brantley. Yeah, Muschamp had no head-coaching experience, so give him a chance to learn on the job. Anyone who thought we’d do better than 8-4 this year, hadn’t looked at the schedule. The fact that it’s likely 6-6 can be attributed to bad breaks, injuries and a thin roster. A healthy Brantley beats Auburn and beats UGA. I hate the penalties as much as anyone, but Florida’s Big 3 — UF, UM, FSU — have always been highly penalized (at least when SOS was coaching us). It comes with aggressive play. Settle down and give Muschamp a solid shot.

  13. Geez.
    What in the world are you people talking about. Are you off your meds? Clemson is undefeated? Really? Have you even been paying attention? We simply are saddled with a bunch of mediocre players. End of story. No one can say whether or not Champ is a good HC or not. Has it been a frustrating season? You bet. Why would you expect anything else given thay it was complete chaos with the quitter Meyer still at the helm last season? What, you expect Meyer to neglect everything except recruiting? Wake up! Champ came in to a bad situation, who else do you think would take this job? Do you remeber why we ended up with Zook? Because every other coach with half a brain knew it was a bad deal to follow Spurrier. Who else was lining up to take the job after a year of Meyer neglect, Adazzio buffonery, and zero recruiting? (Cue crickets sound track now!) That’s right geniuses, you have no answer. Lighten up and give Champ and Charlie a chance to to get some football players in the program. Until then, either nut up, or shut up.
    Go Gators!

  14. 76, trolls showing up under the pretenses of being Gators are nothing new. They do it to try and give themselves cred so they can tear down the Gators. I mean, even their criticisms are clueless, as they repeatedly demonstrate they know nothing about football.

  15. I think this is the best chance Vandy has to beat us!! they have have come close to beating us in 1999 and 2005 at the swamp!! I am not going to anymore games this year It has been a tough year to be a Gator Fan!! We are making way too many silly penalties and are defense is too agressive such as Ronald Powell making the late hit out of bounds last week!! We will be back on top in a couple of years!! Hug tough and be patient Gator fans!!

  16. I want to apologize for my last post.
    I apologize to everyone I saracastically called a genius. I apologize to all of ya’ll that think Champ and Charlie were bad hires. Who am I to be so arrogant and think I am the only one who has the correct opinion? This is college football, I will try to have more fun and not take it so personally. That said, let’s hope for some good recruiting and improved coaching in the future.
    Go Gators!

  17. I can’t see jumping on Foley for this season. This is the same Foley that hired coaches that produced two Heisman Trophy winners. The same Foley that hired coaches that produced the forst ever SEC Championship and two National Championships. The same Foley that put the UF athletic program in the black and produced championship womand sports.
    A new coach wikll have growing pains with a new system in place and players adapting. Give Foley and Muschamps a chance to fill the roster and develop the new systems. Looking back at the Gators, I’ve seen many “down” years, followed by great teams in following years. Don’t expect miracles in the first year of a new coaching staff.

  18. As a fan, I truly want the Gators to win this game, but after what I have seen from them lately I just can’t find the confidence to say that it will happen. So many penalties, so few big plays. I honestly believe Vandy has the momentum going for them. They have also been playing a much better game.

  19. If we beat can vandy today, will likely be our signature win for the year. Hard to believe we have fallen this far in just two years. Offensive side of the ball needs a major upgrade, don’t see any pro prospects on that side of the ball. Not impressed with coaching this year but they deserve chance to get this heading in right direction in 2012.

  20. Finally a D-Line that our O-line can handle. Do not be surprised to see us line up 10-15 plays with Joyer at FB and Trey at TB. Brantley will out play Vandy’s QB and it has been cold in Nashville and the heat will be a factor in the 4th qtr even though in the 70’s will feel warm compared to the low 50’s in Nashville. Gators win going away 31-20.

  21. The last time we lost to Vandy Herbert Perry was the UF quarterback because Kerwin Bell was hurt. We also were in the depths of scholarship losses due to probation and the game was played on a cold miserable day in Nashville. If we lose this afternoon at the Swamp on homecoming what does that say about our coaching staff? While we can all agree that UF doesn’t have the talent of Ala. or LSU, the total lack of improvement over the course of the season is reflective of a coaching staff that is clueless. The only thing we lead the NCAA in is penalties because Muschamp bates the officials and they respond by calling every minute penalty they can.

  22. After the year of confusion, will he go or will he not with Urban, we now have a change in coaches AND in how we play football (offense and defense). As with such changes many of our current players are like square pegs trying to fit into round holes. Add a lack of depth for linemen on both sides of the ball we knew it would only take a few key injuries to make for the kind of season we now have. Thus were we are is no great surprise! The foundation is being built and new pieces are in place to come aboard next year. Even if we had a head coach with previous coaching experience, this year would not be any better. A head coach can not in one year solve all the depth problems as well as implement completely new offense and defense systems. Today is a turning point for this team and this year but not the defining moment for this coaching staff – that will come in 2013 with a team at least 75% theirs.

    All that having been said, not a good feeling about today – Vandy 28 Florida 17

  23. Holy smoke!!! There are thirty thousand empty seats at the Swamp. What has happened. How the mighty have fallen. We need to clean house and fire Muschamp, Foley and Weis!

    It comes down to issue of money. We can not afford to have all these empty seats. Think of all the money we are losing in parking and consessions and local restaurants and bars and ticket sales and gas and such.

  24. The Gator beat Vandy. Missouri—Missouri is apparently a member of the SEC. Perhaps I am too much a traditionalist but I miss the time when it was possible to name which schools were in what conferences, when a school from the mid-west was not associated with the SEC and when schools did not change conferences every year or two. Maybe it is time to recognize college football as a minor league for the full-time professionals and start paying the college players what they are worth with the NFL ‘kicking-in’ on the pay. Perhaps $50,000.00 – $75,000.00 a year would be a good starting point. End the charade, the nonsense.

  25. @EMK
    You are spot on about college football being the minor leauges for the NFL, but I propose a different reform: Use Federal anti trust laws to strike down the NFL’s prohibition on players in their leauge until after what would have been the player’s junior year. Maybe Maurice Clarrett does not deal drugs or rob liquor stores if he could have played in the NFL after he was kicked out of Ohio State. Maybe we can stop the charade that most ddivision one football players are “students” that could actually gain admission to the colleges they play for independebt of football. Something to think about.
    Go Gators!

  26. Ok yeah our team is in bad shape…and like my friend was telling me we hate to admit it but we’re still having our Tebow hangover. It would be much easier to move on if we had some better effort from the team but I’m sure Muschamp will improve as a head coach. I can take this season under 2 circumstances…we win out or we beat FSU lol