Looking to continue their run through SEC opponents and maintain their undefeated record, the No. 4 Florida Gators are headed back to Tennessee to face the Vanderbilt Commodores. The Gators along with No. 3 South Carolina, are the only two teams left in the SEC East Division to still have an undefeated record.
While the matchup has the making of a potential trap game, Florida head coach Will Muschamp insists his team is not about to overlook the Commodores, especially after surviving a close call against them at home a year ago. When these teams met in 2011, the Gators won 26-21 on Homecoming, which snapped a four-game losing streak. Florida has dominated the series 34-9-2 and is seeking its 22nd straight victory over Vanderbilt, which hasn’t posted a series win since 1988.
“Our guys have worked hard and I don’t see a whole lot of difference in how they approach every day and how they’ve approached each game so far this year,” Muschamp said. “We’re not going to put any more hours in as coaches this week than we did a week ago, we’re not going put any less, either. We’re going to prepare very similar to what we’ve done thus far in the season, as far as what we’ve got to do to be successful and that’s winning the football game.”
Florida (5-0, 4-0 SEC) moved up six spots in the latest poll after defeating then-No. 4 LSU 14-6 last Saturday. Mike Gillislee ran for a career-high 146 yards and two touchdowns while the defense limited the Tigers to 200 yards in avenging last season’s 41-11 loss in Baton Rouge.
The gators are known for controlling the second half of the game, and is the only team in the nation that has allowed zero fourth-quarter points, outscoring opponents 41-0 in the final period. The Gators are ranked 6th nationally in scoring defense (11.4 ppg), second in pass efficiency defense (88.45) and 12th in total defense (2840 ypg). In addition, the team has forced 10 turnovers, including seven interceptions.
“We have our work cut out for us at 6:00 there in Nashville and we look forward another opportunity to go out there and get better” Muschamp said.
Prediction: Florida 34, Vanderbilt 10
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Written by Mackenzie Thirkill