Florida football: 5 players to watch for Saturday's game against Vanderbilt

Kevin Brockway
Gator Sports
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Florida Gators defensive lineman Gervon Dexter Sr. (9) tackles LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) for a roughing-the-passer penalty during the second half at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, October 15, 2022. [Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun]

Five players to watch for Florida's game at Vanderbilt (noon ET, SEC Network):

Quarterback Anthony Richardson

Richarson will make his 11th start of the season for the Gators and will look to extend his streak of not turning the ball over to five straight games.

So far this season, Richardson has passed for 1,951 yards with 11 TDs to 7 interceptions, while rushing for 588 yards and 9 TDs.

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A Florida native who starred at Eastside High in Gainesville, Richardson admitted he's not used to playing in the cold. Temperatures are expected to be in the 40s at kickoff in Nashville, Tenn.

"If the wind's blowing too much, that's cold," Richardson said. "If it's 65, that's kind of cold. It really depends."

Running back Montrell Johnson Jr.

Johnson has posted back-to-back 100-yard rushing games during Florida's two-game win streak, rushing for an average of 130.5 yards and 2 TDs in wins over Texas A&M and South Carolina.

For the season, Johnson ranks 8th in the SEC in rushing with 710 yards on 6.1 yards per carry and 9 TDs. At 5-foot-11 and 218 pounds, Johnson has shown the ability to run the ball as hard in the fourth quarter as he does in the first. 

"Montrell is a 215, 220-pound back," Florida coach Billy Napier said. "He's 5'11-1/2". He's not a burner. He's 21 1/2 miles an hour, I think he hit full gear the other day, which is good.

"He's got really good instincts and vision. I think he anticipates contact. He's got really good contact balance." 

Defensive lineman Gervon Dexter Sr.

It's been an up-and-down season for Dexter, who recorded half a sack last week against South Carolina. Dexter had posted 42 tackles on the season, with 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and 4 quarterback hurries. 

Safety Rashad Torrence II

Torrence recorded a strip and fumble recovery last week against South Carolina and has been a leader on defense throughout the season. He's posted a team-high 73 tackles, including 40 solo stops. 

“It’s great to help the team win and be a great piece of the defense that has been doing better the past couple weeks," Torrence said.

Torrence said he takes pride in being a communicator in the back end of the defense.

"Just making sure everybody in the back end is on the same page when the ball is snapped," Torrence said. "I feel like that goes a long way in terms of execution.”

Punter Jeremy Crawshaw

Crawshaw has averaged 46.96 yards per punt, with seven punts of 50 yards or more and 12 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. He booted a 67-yard punt last week against South Carolina and will be counted on again to try to flip field position on Saturday.

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