Upset alert in Nashville

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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.

28 COMMENTS

  1. You’re right about upset potential, but there’s something about this Gator team. Something workmanlike that allows them to do the job they have to do. Maybe it’s that blue-collar mentality Muschamp is instilling. I love it.

  2. Agree with everything you say here, Robbie–and like 76gator, feel confident that this Gator team, a reflection of its Head Coach with its relentless, “it’s-not-pretty-but-we-just-won’t-quit” attitude and style-of-play on BOTH sides of the ball, wins the games it is SUPPOSED to win–and at least SOME of the ones most folks think it isn’t. On the road, in a stadium rockin’ with wild joy and hope at a hyped up Commodore team maybe even with an early lead this may be a close one into the 3rd qrtr, but these Gators will assert themselves and win this game, eventually wearing down the lesser team once more. Yeah, I love it too.

  3. Louisiana Monroe 21-14 last game against Bama!

    Bama 1 SEC title in last 12 years!

    Florida most SEC title game appearances of any school. Florida most SEC title game wins of any school. Most SEC title game losses? Bama.

  4. This another big test for the Gators. They should hammer Vandy. The D needs to pitch a shutout, and Jeff Drissy and the offense should light up the scoreboard like a video game. I believe Coach Boom and staff have built BCS Championship caliber team and they need to go out and play like they are on Saturday – and I think they will. WE WANT ALABAMA! GO GATORS.

  5. I agree there ‘could be some nervous moments’ for Florida, Robbie…but I also agree with ’76 Gator’ in that there’s something uniquely different about this Team. It is known, thus far, for 2nd half adjustments and I don’t see that changing now! Florida pulls away in 2nd half to win by 20!!! GO GATORS!!!

  6. I’m worried because these Gators have never been here before. Although they have matured since last year they are still very young, and I don’t see a lot of Sr. leadership that can/will talk them down a notch. Add that to the fact that Vandy has traditionally played UF tough – often tougher than UGA has – and the warning signs are everywhere. I hope Coach Pease has a plan for a quick start in this one, because we may need it.

  7. The Gators need this Vandy game for 2 very important reasons:
    -to establish offensive rythm in the 1st half and take a lead.
    -to establish a deep passing threat early & spread the field.

    These two factors are critical for the Gators to achieve in this game as they go into the heart of their tough SEC schedule.
    If we accomplish this, we will learn how to enter the 2nd half with a lead and to spread the field to become multi-dimensional.
    Both of these attributes are vital in order to beat SC, GA, and FSU and ultimately win in Atlanta.

  8. I think the Gators throttle Vandy and run away with it. Vandy has a poor rush defense and we have a great run game, so naturally they are going to crowd the box. If I’m Pease, the one thing I DON’T do is run off tackle a lot. I’m running play action, jet sweeps, and WR screens. Vandy is slow and will be bunched up in the middle of the field. Hit the edges, get big plays.
    .
    I think UF can get 50 if they want to, but Champ likes to keep thinks close to the vest, so probably a Kentucky-type score. Which is fine. All I want is a win, no injuries, and lots of rest for the starters so we are nice and fresh next week for SCar.

  9. How many times can you and Dooley trot out the same tired articles and expect to be taken seriously? Do you have one of those magnetic poetry sets on your refrigerator comprised of stock football sayings that you simply rearrange once a week? C’mon. Please do some research and write an article about the Gators that is informative and original. You guys are right there in the same town! Please write a real article and tell me something about the Gators that I don’t know instead of regurgitating the same shallow thoughts over and over.

  10. Recently I told Roll Tide that I hope we meet them in Atlanta but that I wasn’t sure his team would make it there.
    Now that we are both ranked # 1 & 2 in the country I hope that he can keep is end of the bargain up but I am even more concerned about them.
    Their QB is banged up with a knee brace on while our QB runs for 177 yeards. Come on Tide Roll, come on…

  11. Lakeland, the Gator De is back to their usual high level. But you have to be kidding me if you think you really have a shot against the Tide with your offense. Bama leads the nation in 7 defensive categories. I don’t see Driskel doing much in that game. I hope it happens because Bama matches up a lot better with Florida than they do with SC or GA. Florida wouldn’t have a chance (this year).

  12. Roll Tide, you and other Bama fans really have me hoping we smash SC this wknd so we CAN meet in Dec. I think we’ll surprise yall as well as we did the rest of the critics this year. BTW I told you we’ll be back, you didn’t expect it so soon did you?

  13. You’re not back. Offense is still too weak. Aside from LSU, who doesn’t have a QB either, none of your wins are that nice. Bowling Green by 7? Kentucky? Vandy? Tenneessee and their sieve defense? I’m not saying Bama hasn’t had their share of games like this, but Bama beats everyone by 40+ and hasn’t been tested by mediocrity like UF. I hope you win the East so you can see that in person.

  14. UF has as impressive a resume so far as anybody in college football. Wins over two top 20 teams. Held Texas A&M scoreless in the second half, and their offense seems like one of the best in the nation.
    Meanwhile Bama has played the likes of horrible arkansas, horrible missouri, horrible ole miss and mediocre michigan.
    I still think Bama is the best team and deserves to be ranked #1 though. And I would like UF to do more things on offense. UF probably needs to sign some stud WR’s to help out.