🐊Florida #Gators at Vanderbilt -- Game Day Preview: UF seeks winning streak to end season. 🔸Game notes, stats 🔹Injury updates 💰Picks: ATS, O/U 📺Follow live: TV, stream, radio 🔸Storylines + more Get it:.
Coming off their two most complete games of the season, the Florida Gators are riding high looking to cement their first winning streak under head coach Billy Napier as they visit the Vanderbilt Commodores on what should be a chilly Saturday afternoon in Nashville. While the Gators are two-touchdown favorites entering the contest, the ‘Dores are coming off their best win of the season, which snapped a frustrating 26-game SEC losing streak dating back to 2019.
Speaking of streaks, the one Florida has over Vanderbilt — which suffered a black eye less than a decade ago — remains its most impressive. The Gators have won 15 straight against the ‘Dores in Nashville and 30 of the last 31 meetings overall. One of the lone bright spots last season for Florida was its 42-0 demolition of Vanderbilt. Neither team is anywhere near the same a year later.
What will go down Saturday afternoon as the Gators visit the ‘Dores? Let’s find out. Don’t miss our Florida Football Friday Final covering many of the biggest topics facing the program this week.
Questionable (1): TE Keon Zipperer (lower body)Out (3): WR Xzavier Henderson (lower body), WR Ja’Quavion Fraziars (shoulder), K Trey Smack (lower body)Out for season (2): CB Devin Moore (shoulder), LS Marco Ortiz (upper body)
TV: SEC Network (Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb, Alyssa Lang)Live stream: ESPN+ | SiriusXM: 384/874 | Radio: WRUF, TuneInLive updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter
» Florida is 43-10-2 all-time against Vanderbilt with eight straight wins and victories in 30 of the last 31 meetings overall (15 straight in Nashville).» UF has scored 24+ points in just 10 of its last 16 games.» Florida is 6-1 this season when rushing for 150+ yards and 5-0 when leading after the third quarter.» The Gators are second nationally in yards per rush (6.06) and 11th in rushing offense (225.3 yards per game). They are one of only two teams in the country with three players averaging 6.0 yards per carry or better.» Florida is ninth nationally in turnovers gained (21) and seventh in turnover margin (+10). It has only coughed the ball up once over its last four games.» UF’s defense has not allowed a point through the last six quarters.» The Gators are 7-13 against ranked opponents (2-5 vs. top five teams, 5-7 vs. top 10 teams) and 32-9 against unranked opponents since 2018. They are 1-3 against AP Top 25 teams this season.» Florida was the only team in the nation to play three top-20 opponents in the first four weeks of the season. It has faced five teams ranked at the time of kickoff and three teams in the current top 10 of the College Football Playoff Rankings.» UF is one of two FBS teams nationally (Alabama) that has not yet lost to an opponent that finished the season with a losing record since 2004.» The Gators have scored in 433 consecutive games, an NCAA record.
The low temperatures and early kickoff may lead to a sluggish start, but once the Gators warm up on the field, it’s tough to see the Commodores posing that much of a threat. Despite the ‘Dores exemplary effort last week, Kentucky is not the same team Florida faced earlier this season in a game that UF legitimately should have won. Perhaps more important, the Gators are markedly improved from that period, too.
Florida exorcised some demons against a South Carolina team that simply could not match up from a talent standpoint. Yet, despite only scoring seven points of three third-quarter turnovers, failing frequently in the red zone and giving up numerous special teams plays to the visitors, the Gators defense did not allow a touchdown in the game. It has improved drastically on third down, and the running game is simply one of the best in the nation at this time.
The ideal scenario for Florida is to go up big early and then coast to the finish given Florida State is forthcoming. However, it may be tough for the Gators to start hot out of the gate. Ultimately, they should cover the two-touchdown spread. Seeing as it may be tough for Vanderbilt to put points on the board, it’s better to side with the under on a significant total.