Gator Gameday: Storylines, question marks and key matchup for Vanderbilt at Florida

Zach Abolverdi
Gator Sports
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Things to watch in Florida’s homecoming game against Vanderbilt. 

The Storylines for Vanderbilt Commodores-Florida Gators

1. After losing at Kentucky last Saturday for the first time since 1986, Florida looks to avoid another winning streak ending today. UF has won seven consecutive games against the Commodores and 29 of the last 30 meetings. The lone victory for Vanderbilt over the past three decades came in 2013 at The Swamp. The Gators haven’t lost an away game in the series in 33 years, which is now the program’s longest current winning streak on the road with the UK streak snapped. 

2. Florida was flagged 15 times for 115 yards in the 20-13 loss at Kentucky, the program’s most penalties in a game since 2001. More than half of those flags were false starts, which shouldn’t be a problem at home today. But the Gators also had three personal fouls and two holding penalties on the offensive line, including one in the red zone that negated a 10-yard run on third-and-3. UF needs to play a clean game today to keep the Commodores from hanging around and iron out any issues before traveling to LSU. 

Florida wide receiver Justin Shorter tries to break away during the Gators' game against the Commodores on Saturday, November 21, 2020 at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tenn.

3. Vanderbilt’s last trip to Gainesville was a 56-0 shutout, one of three for the Gators in 2019 and their largest margin of victory against an SEC team since 2008. The ’Dores were the last opponent to be held scoreless by Florida’s defense, which didn’t pitch any shutouts last season. The Gators could do it again today vs. a Vandy team that was blanked by Georgia, 62-0. 

Predicting today's game:Abolverdi's Analysis: Gators overdue for complete game, blowout win

Watch the game:How to watch Florida Gators college football vs. Vanderbilt Commodores on TV, live stream

Where's the smart money going?:What is the Vanderbilt vs. Florida Gators football betting line, over/under, predictions

Today's game questions

1. Are the Gators able to clean up their penalty issues from the UK loss?

2. Does Emory Jones avoid turnovers and score red-zone touchdowns?

3. How many total yards for UF after its 400-yard streak was snapped last week?

4. Can Vandy’s Ken Seals match his 319 pass yards vs. the Gators in 2020?

5. Will Florida hold the ’Dores scoreless for the second time in three years? 

Click back Sunday for Abolverdi's answers.

Abolverdi’s pick: Florida 52, Vanderbilt 7.

Key matchup 

Florida’s red-zone offense vs. Vanderbilt’s red-zone defense:

The Commodores have struggled mightily on defense this season, but one area where they’ve played solid is inside the 20. They rank 61st nationally in red-zone defense, allowing opponents to score on 80.7 percent of trips and giving up touchdowns just 57.69 percent of the time. Vandy will need to come up with some red-zone stops to have a shot against Florida. The Gators rank No. 87 in red-zone offense, scoring on 80 percent of their trips and finding the end zone 65 percent of the time. In the loss at Kentucky, UF had to settle for a red-zone field goal in the fourth quarter and then turned it over on downs inside the 10-yard line.

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