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.)
- Florida will score on its first offensive drive.
- Kyle Trask will throw for under 250 yards.
- Trask will complete a pass of more than 50 yards.
- Trask will throw for at least two touchdowns.
- Emory Jones will throw at least 10 passes.
- Jones will throw for at least one touchdown.
- Kyle Pitts will have a catch of more than 20 yards and a touchdown.
- Florida will rush for fewer than five yards per carry.
- A Florida player will have a run of at least 40 yards.
- Florida running backs will combine for more than 125 rushing yards.
- Florida will record at least five tackles for loss.
- Florida will record at least four sacks.
- Florida’s secondary will be involved in at least one tackle for loss and one sack.
- Ventrell Miller will lead Florida in tackles.
- A Florida freshman cornerback will have an interception.
- Florida’s safeties will record at least one interception.
- Florida will force at least two turnovers.
- Florida will allow points in one half, but not both.
- Florida will not allow more than 250 yards.
- Florida will not allow more than 10 points.
- Florida’s defense will allow between 2.0 and 4.0 yards per play.
- Both teams will score in double digits.
- Florida will never trail after halftime.
- Florida will cover.
- Florida will defeat Vanderbilt, 45-10, and run its record to 8-2.
Please behave yourselves in the comments.
And as always: Go Gators!