Florida vs. Vanderbilt: Five stats to know

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Five stats to keep you warm while waiting for Florida-Vanderbilt to kick off.

1. Florida's offensive futility against LSU was historic, sort of.

Florida hasn't been able to do much on offense against LSU in recent years: The Gators have been held under 300 yards in the last three seasons, and their last game with more than 330 yards against LSU came in 2008. But the Gators' ability to break big plays has rarely been so well neutralized: Florida failed to record a gain of 20 or more yards on an offensive play last Saturday for the first time since Florida failed to do so against Vanderbilt in 2005. That ended a streak of 88 straight games with a play of 20 yards or more.

2. Jeff Driskel is on a historic pace.

Driskel's averaging 151.8 yards per game through the air, which puts him on pace for 1,973 passing yards this season if Florida plays 13 games. The last Florida quarterback to lead the team in passing and throw for fewer than 2,000 yards was Rex Grossman, who threw for 1,866 yards in 2000, but he wasn't a full-time starter; neither was Danny Wuerffel in 1994, when he threw for 1,754 yards. Kyle Morris threw for 1,098 to lead Florida in 1989, but he was suspended for half of the season for gambling, and his 1,217 in 1988 came as a part-timer. To find the last full-time Florida QB who finished with fewer than 2,000 passing yards in a season, you have to go all the way back to Kerwin Bell's 1987 campaign, in which he threw for 1,769 yards.

3. Florida hasn't allowed a blocked punt in a long time.

Credit the guy better known as Chekhov's Spread Gun Option for this one: Florida hasn't had a punt blocked since having one blocked for a touchdown against Auburn in 2006. And blame him when Florida has one blocked today, okay?

4. Will Muschamp is off to a Sabanish start.

I've been comparing Will Muschamp to Nick Saban at Alabama on Twitter for much of the season, because I think Saban's start at 'Bama came in a similar situation to Muschamp's at Florida. Muschamp is 12-6 and 7-5 in SEC play through 18 games at Florida, and 2-0 on the road in the SEC in his second year; Saban was 12-6 and 6-4 in SEC play through 18 games at Alabama, and 2-0 on the road in the SEC in his second year.

But Muschamp's start at Florida also compares to Urban Meyer's (15-3, 9-3 SEC) and Steve Spurrier's (15-3, 10-1 SEC) in one sense: According to the Jacksonville Times-Union's Hays Carylon, the 18 games between Muschamp's hiring and Florida rising to No. 4 in the AP Poll tied Meyer's Gators' rise and beat Spurrier's by four games.

5. Florida has been much, much better in the fourth quarter than last year.

Much has been made, here and elsewhere, about Florida's 41-0 advantage in the fourth quarter in 2012. The Gators' dominance is great in a vacuum, sure, but it's even better when considering that Florida allowed 86 points in the fourth quarter last year, only shutting out Florida Atlantic, UAB, Kentucky, and Furman in the period. Assuming they play 13 games, the Gators could allow 10.75 points per game in the fourth quarter for the rest of the year and would only tie last year's mark.

On the flip side, Florida only needs 18 points to tie its 2011 output in the fourth period.

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