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Florida Gators vs. Vanderbilt Commodores: Gators Better Not Sleep on Vandy

The Gators Host Vanderbilt hoping to get back on track. Check out SBNation Tampa Bay's preview of the ballgame.

The Gators return to Gainesville finally free of the October from hell. Four consecutive losses have derailed a once promising start to the Gators' season and now Florida must focus on becoming bowl eligible with still tough football games on the horizon.

It begins with a showdown against the perennial cream puff Vandy. Yet this year, with the Gators reeling and lacking confidence, the equally 4-4 Commodores could pose a decent threat to the Orange and Blue.

Of course, Vanderbilt hasn't beaten Florida in Gainesville since World War II and the Gators have won 20 consecutive games in the series.

Series: Florida leads 33-9-1

Streak: Florida has won the last 20 meetings.

Last Vanderbilt Victory in the series: 1988, 24-9

Last Vanderbilt Victory in Gainesville: 1945, 7-0

Who to worry about on offense: Jordan Rodgers, QB.

The Green Bay Packers Super Bowl winning QB Aaron Rodgers' brother has taken over the reigns of Vanderbilt's offense. Jordan is a dual threat for the 'Dores, throwing for 667 yards 3 touchdowns and 5 interceptions while rushing for 257 yards and 3 scores.

Under Rodgers, Vandy's offense has come to life - averaging 33.3 points and 437 yards a game over the past three ball games.

Who to worry about on defense: Casey Hayward, DB

Senior defensive back Casey Hayward enters the Florida game with 5 interceptions and is a finalist for the Jim Thorpe award. Hayward's 13 career interceptions puts him second all-time in Vanderbilt history and he is the active leader in the SEC in career interceptions.

Florida Wins if....

They protect the football, contain running back Zac Stacy, find their own running game and force Jordan Rodgers into mistakes.

Vanderbilt pulls the upset if...

They can force some turnovers and Rodgers plays lights out.


While Vanderbilt certainly is better than 'Dores teams of the past and they are truly catching the Gators at their worst - it really is hard to imagine a Vandy upset in Gainesville. If this game was being played in Nashville, Florida fans would have significant need for worry - but with the kickoff set for the Swamp, Florida should win this game.

John Brantley played well in the first half against Georgia but it's pretty obvious he's not 100%, The Gators truly need to find their ground game against Vanderbilt but it won't be easy as Vandy has the 4th best run defense in the league.

In the end, I'd expect Vandy to keep in interesting but Florida will pull away and get a homecoming victory.

Prediction: Florida 30, Vandy 17

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.