Andreu’s Analysis: Upset special in Music City?

Florida running back Lamical Perine scores the first touchdown during the first quarter of last year's game against Vanderbilt at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Alan Youngblood/Gainesville Sun]

The most encouraging thing Dan Mullen’s first Florida team has done this season is show steady progress every Saturday since the loss to Kentucky a month ago. If that trend continues, the Gators should be OK in Nashville on Saturday. But if it doesn’t and they take a step back, the upset certainly comes into play.

I certainly can see how the upset could happen. If the Gators are careless with the ball and Feleipe Franks reverts to some of his bad habits and the defense gets burned on some explosive plays, then, yes, Florida can lose this game.

Vanderbilt is capable of playing with, and beating, Florida. The Commodores nearly upset Notre Dame in South Bend a month ago before falling 22-17. Just last week, Vandy gave No. 2 Georgia some serious trouble in the first half before the Bulldogs eventually took command in a 41-13 decision that was much closer than that score indicates.

Mullen’s message to his players this week has been that they need to focus on themselves, practice just as hard or harder than they have the past several weeks, and make sure the arrow keeps pointing up in terms of their progress.

This is what all coaches strive for, their team improving over the course of the season. So far, it’s been happening for the Gators. If that continues Saturday, the Gators will head into their bye at 6-1 with a huge date looming with Georgia. If the Gators take a step back, the upset is going to happen and it’s going to be a long two weeks between now and going to Jacksonville.

My first prediction is that this game is going to be decided in the fourth quarter.

My second prediction is Mullen will have the Gators prepared with a plan to win, and they will execute it just well enough to get by.

Prediction: Florida 16, Vanderbilt 10.



  1. Robbie. 16 to 10 and just getting by with a win????? What Gainesville football team, seriously, have you been watching lately? Update to Robbie: Jim McElwain is no longer the head coach and Doug Nussmeier is no longer the offensive coordinator for the Florida Gators football team. Florida will barely get into a double digit final score beginning with the number 4, and Vandy will barely get into a double digit score beginning with the number 2. So my prediction is: Florida 41, Vandy 20. (Halftime score prediction: Florida 24, Vandy 7).

    • We all know the gators are in much better hands this year, but we are still yet to see how the gators perform after a big win going into Ann away game against a team “we should beat”. This is how upsets happen. Hopefully the gators stay sharp and look alive this week. #GoGators

    • Everyone is hating on Robbie but do y’all really want any Gator fan to stop doing whatever they’re doing? I’m sure Robbie is just as superstitious as all sports fans and doesn’t want to change things while the Gators are winning. I recently heard about a Gator fan who must also like Vanderbilt who was wondering whether he should stop wearing his lucky Vandy shirt for this game. Don’t f it up Gator fans, keep doing whatever the heck you’ve been doing since the week after Kentucky game.

    • This is more reasonable. I don’t see a McElwainian struggle of incompetence that barely gets us the W. However, I CAN see a dominant defense complimented by a game managing offense that results in the game not being put away until the 4th. But I do believe it will be put away eventually and Trask (or Jones por favor) might be able to to trot in for a series or two.

      Gators 27-13.

  2. To date we have not played a complete game beginning to end where all three phases were solid throughout the day. BUT we have had glimpses of what is possible (usually followed by a mistake) if they were to perform at that level. This is what is the most intriguing, is there greatness around the corner? this a fluke?.. are we just average playing with great coaching?.. are we going to collapse (like last year)?.. etc. I am sure many fans are worried we will fall into some assort of abyss. Listing to coach Mullen early on about how he was going to do things is or at least appears to be what is happening. Fundamentals first, conditioning at all times, teamwork, individual and team execution. Since as he said he didn’t look at tape from the last few years (though I believe his assistants have in agonizing detail) these guys started as a brand new team which if you think about it is essentially true. New coaching, S&C, Scheme, methods approach etc. Players there is varying degrees of experience and talent development (this is the area we needed the most work) Case in point Jr’s excelling who never hit the field. It is starting to gel. I also don’t think Mullen has turned them loose yet because they are not ready and has at times held them back to keep the whole group/team together and growing and moving forward in a positive manner. I know a lot of we have seen that so far. There are weaknesses and we have all discussed these but those weaknesses are not hurting us (or scaring us) as much as before. If you have listened to what has been said by coach there are some slight changes happening that at some point will not be so slight. We are improving and if they head to Vanderbilt and play in all phases, cleanly with good execution we can win this by a large margin by 3 td’s or more.

  3. All the Gators have done is prove Robbie wrong all season long. You would think this team is 1-5 and not 5-1. I don’t expect the writers at the Sun to gush and fall all over each other when it comes to the Gator football team. But I don’t expect so much doom and gloom. Is this a work in progress? Yes. But you guys need to lighten up. This not Mac or Muschamp. CDM will have these guys focused and ready to play. I’m just a little disappointed that Robbie didn’t pick us to lose again. It has been our good luck charm. That’s the only thing that makes me nervous. Gators 34 Vandy 17.

  4. I have the Gators winning 34 – 13. We will have at least 16 by halftime. Sorry Robbie, but John Hevesy will have his O-line stoked and ready to plow the road for 400+ ground yards. Franks will be his usual pedestrian self, though, and throw for something like 13 – 28, 161 yds and 1 TD and 1 Int.

  5. Pat and Robbie, it seems that you two are the only ones who don’t believe what they see. Doom and gloom is a good name for the two of you. Jump on the band wagon with the rest of us and enjoy the ride. Football is fun to watch again. Florida 42, Vandy 17.

  6. If all we have is 16 points going into the half I’ll be disappointed and calling for Trask to come out to start the 3rd quarter, but lets get real, that ain’t gonna happen so what I’m really looking forward to is the next trick play. Hopefully we can have more than one of those.

  7. Vandy has a lot to prove in this game, to themselves and to there dwindling fan base.
    Expect them to play like this is their bowl game. The problem is that Mullen has the Gators single mindedly focused on continuous improvement with relentless effort. When these two trains collide only one can survive- the one with the most talent and superior coaching.
    Gators 32 -17.

    • Maybe the smarter people on here are predicting a win by a certain number of points, generally speaking. Rather than to pin point the final score. I guess if they did that though then they would not be a guru.

  8. Like the t-shirt says, ”I always thought it would take a lot longer to get old!”
    As I’m over half-way done with this life, Lord willing. But a ”cranky Robbie”?!?!
    No, I think he’s just been burned too many times by Muschamp and Mac. He will come around to Mullen’s offense soon. Robbie’s actually a really cool and laid back guy. I got to hang-out with him at a Coach Ron Zook fund-raiser/event at ‘The Swamp’ in 2003, back when I worked in ad. sales for the G’ville Sun.
    But as for the Vandy game, no score prediction, just a BIG ‘W’ for the Gators! Work ’em silly, Gators!

  9. My suspicion is that some day the light is going to come on for Franks, which will lead to an explosive Gator offense. It may not be until next year, however. Still, he has been improving every week, and if he takes another step forward, I don’t see the Gators scoring only 16 points. If this is the week everything — or most things — begin to fall into place for him, they will surpass that number early in the game.

    The rest of the team needs to be physical and focused for the Gators to win by more than a touchdown. If they are not, they may still win — but Vandy would have a chance.

  10. Vandy will play tough because they are well coached. However, they have some difficulty running the ball, will find themselves in a lot of third and longs and Shurmer will be under real pressure. That is of course if our defense shows up, and there is zero indication it won’t.

    UGA ran fairly well on Vandy which is also our offensive strength. We should also. Gators don’t put the ball on the ground and we win by at least two scores. They turn the ball over or give up a special teams score and it can get ugly. The only hope Vandy has is that they come out strong and we come out flat, and they get ahead by a couple of scores. Then all bets are off.

  11. If # 5 LSU and all of their horses could only score 19 against us, do we really think Vandy is going to get out of the low teens in scoring against our D. If Franks and our offense does anything good (run run run), the score should be 30- something to maybe 13. Go Gators!!!

  12. I’ve been around for 50 of the 51 games played between the two teams and I know that Vandy has either beaten or scared the crap out of the Gators many times over the years. Even some of the championship Florida teams had trouble with the Commodores, especially in Nashville. I’m not predicting a Gator loss but a tight game would not surprise me at all.

  13. Dooley and Robbie still are hoping for that 2-10 record they predicted after the Kentucky game. Still can’t believe they thought Idaho was the only other game we were going to win. You expect that out of Mike Bianchi from the Orlando sentinel; not the Gainesville Sun.

    • Albert: Pat and Robbie never predicted UF would go 2-10. They certainly didn’t write it. In a Swampcast video following the Kentucky loss, Robbie said if the Gators don’t get things corrected, 2-10 could be a possibility.

      • Arnold. I think most of Gator Nation felt the same way as Robbie after the Kentucky game. But it seems that Robbie somewhat feels the same way and most of Gator Nation has a new perspective on the Gators. But just not seeing 16 to 10. Maybe the day after the Kentucky game, but not now. But we will see.

        • Anyone here ever thought that Dooley and Robbie, esp robbie,may just be sticking it in the eye of the fans? They know the Gators are going to win so predicting a low score they know will rile up some people as evidenced here!

          • daz. When have you ever witnessed a modern-day journalist use a communication platform to manipulate a set audience? Clearly never happens. If you do not believe me, just watch any cable news network station. Nothing but the news and the facts, mon.

  14. Great he continues to pick against the Gators. I think this game will be over at the half with the Gators winning. But of course anything can happen especially at Vandy, even good teams have trouble with them at times in the past.

  15. C’mon Robbie! You are the Great Gator Nosehound Insider, yes? Then give us interesting inside scoop you haven’t spouted in a dog’s age instead of this banal, old news rehash week in/week out, puh-leeeze!

  16. Here is where Robbie is wrong. He says that UF needs to show steady improvement from last week to beat the Commodores; if the Gators play the way they did against MSU or LSU, they will beat Vandy by 21+. Robbie is starting to show a steady decline when assessing our team.

  17. 45-10. Defense has a big day. No trick plays..saving them for when they need them. Perine and Scarlett and Pierce run for 300. OL continues improvement and Franks plays solid, not great… 14-27 180 yards 2 TD 0 INT.

  18. Dores may hang around in the first half and make it interesting. The Gators conditioning and physicality will seal the game in the second half. The player matchup here is just not close to what the Gators have faced in the last three games. Including all the cousins on the other side of the state. A lot of the students will claim they are “on call” and will be gone by the fourth quarter. Including my son-in-law. Go Gatah

  19. I 100% agree with Robbie. How many times has a team been caught looking ahead to a big rivalry game to fall the week before to a team they were supposed to beat easily? This happens way too often and I am glad this article is bringing this up. Again, let’s not forget that this team is still young in Mullen’s system. In some ways, they are overachieving and it would be easy for them to get overconfident. Plus we all know too well that a team like Vanderbilt has a knack for giving us trouble. I recall the Vandy game being the 2nd closest game of the year aside from the FSU game during the 1996 season. So if our NC caliber team had a hard time, it would make no sense for our current team to overlook them. I think Mullen wants their attention and wouldn’t be surprised one bit that he sees the same thing that Robbie (and me!) sees. If we beat Vanderbilt, it would not be because Robbie was wrong, it would be because they listened. This team certainly wants no part in being the first team in a gazillion year to lose to Vandy and Kentucky in the same years.. So buckle and grind this win out!! Go Gators!

  20. The Gators have not forgotten their loss to UK (I am sure Coach Mullen has reminded them). Also, while we did pull out a win against LSU at home, it was a “come from behind” win. I don’t see Florida putting 40+ points on Vandy. My pick is UF 33, Vandy 24. If our “D” can execute at 100% throughout the game, the spread may widen. One key is for Franks not to think he is going to become Tebow in this game – just stay with the game plan and execute the plays. Make your reads and protect the ball. Do not try to make things happen but go with the flow. GO GATORS!!!