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Florida vs. Vanderbilt, Game Thread: Gators look to begin fine finish

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Playing a bad Vanderbilt team down to its third QB should help in that regard!

UAB v Florida Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

I’m not apologizing for not fighting through this life of walking narcolepsy to preview the Florida Gators playing the Vanderbilt Commodores this week. Sorry.

The Gators are favored by four touchdowns over Vandy for Saturday’s matchup (noon, ESPN or WatchESPN), and there’s little to suggest that this could be a colossal upset. Florida is at home, and while it will be missing (the out-of-here Chris Bleich and out-for-the-year Jeremiah Moon) and resting (Amari Burney, apparently) players, it’s not missing so much as to diminish it to the level Vandy has played at during its 2-6 campaign.

And Vandy’s maybe not even going to be at that level, with injuries to top two quarterbacks Riley Neal and Mo Hasan leaving the keys to a sputtering offense in the hands of redshirt junior Deuce Wallace — who is a robust 33-for-76 on the year with three picks, and has never completed 10 passes in a game.

He’ll probably get a chance to do that in his first start, but Florida’s DBU crew could do some image rehab by harassing him. And if Florida’s mien is a mean one in general after a second straight year with a ceiling-setting loss to Georgia, it bodes well for the Gators’ chances of finishing strong in a season that could still feature 10 regular-season wins and 11 total wins even without a cascade of circumstances that would give Florida a back door into the College Football Playoff.

And Florida is also going to look great — with its white helmets and the resplendent shiny blue script Gators on them — and be playing in great football weather in the low 60s. If it weren’t for the opponent being Vanderbilt and the stakes being very low, this might actually be a recipe for Scott Stricklin’s expected “second-largest crowd in The Swamp” this year.

Here are 25 predictions for Florida-Vanderbilt, for some reason. (You’re officially allowed to nag me for a review of all of these predictions this week.)

  1. Florida will score on its first offensive drive.
  2. Kyle Trask will throw for under 250 yards.
  3. Trask will complete a pass of more than 50 yards.
  4. Trask will throw for at least two touchdowns.
  5. Emory Jones will throw at least 10 passes.
  6. Jones will throw for at least one touchdown.
  7. Kyle Pitts will have a catch of more than 20 yards and a touchdown.
  8. Florida will rush for fewer than five yards per carry.
  9. A Florida player will have a run of at least 40 yards.
  10. Florida running backs will combine for more than 125 rushing yards.
  11. Florida will record at least five tackles for loss.
  12. Florida will record at least four sacks.
  13. Florida’s secondary will be involved in at least one tackle for loss and one sack.
  14. Ventrell Miller will lead Florida in tackles.
  15. A Florida freshman cornerback will have an interception.
  16. Florida’s safeties will record at least one interception.
  17. Florida will force at least two turnovers.
  18. Florida will allow points in one half, but not both.
  19. Florida will not allow more than 250 yards.
  20. Florida will not allow more than 10 points.
  21. Florida’s defense will allow between 2.0 and 4.0 yards per play.
  22. Both teams will score in double digits.
  23. Florida will never trail after halftime.
  24. Florida will cover.
  25. Florida will defeat Vanderbilt, 45-10, and run its record to 8-2.

Please behave yourselves in the comments.

And as always: Go Gators!