On paper, this game appears to be no problem for Florida. No problem at all. The Gators are 5-0, ranked No. 4 in the country and coming off a 14-6 victory over powerful LSU. Vanderbilt is 2-3, unranked and lost to Georgia 48-3 just three weeks ago.
Huge difference, it would appear, between these two teams.
So, why is the betting line only seven points?
Because the chasm between UF and VU is not as great as it appears. That’s why I’m posting the upset alert for Saturday’s game. I’m not saying the Commodores are going to spring the upset and give coach James Franklin a signature victory. I’m just saying the Gators better come ready to play or it could be a stunning night in Nashville for Florida.
There, the Gators have been warned.
But they didn’t really need me to tell them. This team, this much more mature team than a year ago, seems to have a good handle on how things work in the SEC: Take someone, anyone, lightly in this league and you’re going to lose.
The Gators almost found this out first-hand last season against Vanderbilt. After building a 17-0 halftime lead, the Gators seemed to relax in the second half and nearly got beat, having to hang on for dear life for a 26-21 victory.
This UF team is much better, much more complete, than that one. It also appears to be smarter, more mature and definitely stronger mentally and physically.
Led by quarterback Jordan Rodgers, speedy tailback Zac Stacy and two very good wide receivers (Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd), the Commodores are going to cause some problems for the Gators. They’ll probably hit some plays early that give Vandy great momentum.
But the Gators will be able to withstand the early setbacks and physically take control of this game. This is a 60-minute team and it’s not going to let all the good work it has accomplished be wasted by overlooking a team that it is better than.
There will be some nervous moments for the Gators, but… Florida 28, Vanderbilt 17.