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Florida vs. Vanderbilt, Game Thread: Knocking the ‘Dores

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Florida needs to get right. Vanderbilt might want to get it over with.

Florida v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

You know, I really did want to make #VandyRespectWeek a thing this week.

I wanted to write about how this could be a new, better Vanderbilt. How the Commodores deserve better than being merely the butt of jokes. (And they do, to be clear.) How the Florida Gators taking Vandy seriously would help restore a lot of faith in Gator Nation — and how Gator Nation responding to the challenge of being asked to show up in person to root for their team by doing so in force would be a better statement of where Florida’s program is than anything that happens on the field.

But, well, it’s Vandy. And it’s a nooner on the SEC Network. Florida might have 50,000 fans in attendance — maybe — and the Gators winning 42-3 would still only barely cover the massive spread, while also probably paling in comparison to the savaging the Commodores took at the hands of Georgia.

This is a must-win game, truly, in the sense that losing it would immediately throw basically everything we know about this Florida program into flux, but it’s also a no-win game, because anything but a record performance isn’t going to move the needle much with most. Florida beating Vandy is the sun rising; Vandy beating Florida, which has happened only one less time in my life than Kentucky doing so, is an eclipse.

And it’s going to be sunny out today.

Here are 10 predictions for Florida’s meeting with Tennessee.

  1. Emory Jones will account for at least 25 passes plus rushes.
  2. Anthony Richardson will account for at least 20 passes plus rushes.
  3. Florida will gain at least 250 rushing yards.
  4. Florida will score more than 40 points.
  5. Kemore Gamble will score at least one touchdown.
  6. Florida’s defense will force multiple turnovers.
  7. Florida will allow fewer than 15 points.
  8. Florida’s defense will not allow more than four yards per play.
  9. Florida will lead by 20 points or more at halftime.
  10. Florida will defeat Vanderbilt, 52-7.