- Date: October, 9, 2021
- Time: 12:00pm EST
- Venue: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
- TV: SEC Network
- Record: Gators (3-2) Commodores (2-3)
Week 5 Recap
The Florida Gators lost a close game to the Kentucky Wildcats last week 20-13. The defense was fantastic, only giving up 87 passing yards and 137 rushing yards. The only offensive touchdowns by the Wildcats were a 41 yard screen pass to Wan’Dale Robinson and a touchdown by Chris Rodriguez on a short field due to an Emory Jones interception. The other touchdown by Kentucky was a blocked field goal return. The poor special teams play has become a pattern for the Gators.
Offensively, they struggled a lot. They had a ton of penalties, a majority of which were false starts and delay of games. Emory Jones went 23 for 31, which is a solid completion percentage, but he only averaged 6.5 yards per attempt. That needs to improve a lot for him to remain at quarterback. He also missed quite a few open receivers due to sticking on his primary option despite him not being open.
The rushing game had perhaps their worse performance, averaging 4.4 yards per carry, which isn’t bad, just worse than previous weeks. They still managed to gain 171 yards on the ground, however.
Florida vs Vanderbilt: What to Watch
Florida’s Defensive Line
The Gators’ defensive line has been their strength defensively this year. They have a chance to rack up huge stats against a very bad Vanderbilt team. Zach Carter has shown inside-out versatility, while Brenton Cox Jr. has provided a dependable edge rush presence.
On the interior, Gervon Dexter has been a force, while the combination of young talent and grad transfers has provided stability next to him. They have a chance to really show their potential in this game, especially the younger guys who haven’t played as much since the first couple of games.
The Return of the King (Anthony Richardson getting actual drives to run)
Anthony Richardson had just one passing attempt and just five rushing attempts last week against Kentucky in his first game back since his injury. He can get more opportunities in this game where the Gators will be up a lot quite early. If he can show a more consistent short and intermediate passing game, he can start to prove why he deserves the starting quarterback job.
Keys to Success
The Gators had an outrageous amount of penalties last week, something that cannot occur if they want to beat the best teams in college football. The penalties that they committed were mainly mental errors, such as delay of game and false start. Those penalties must be completely cut out in this game so they can be severely limited going forward.
Push the Ball Downfield
The Gators passing attack has been taking far too many check downs and has not been getting any explosives. Emory Jones has yet to have over eight yards per attempt this season, which should be an every game occurrence. Anthony Richardson does help in that, but Jones simply has to be willing to push the ball downfield more often and be more effective in doing so.
One of the ways he can improve his effectiveness downfield is by not staying on his primary target. He has left multiple seam shots on the field to throw instead to his main target whom he stared down the entire route.
The Gators had one of the most effective running offenses in the country, but were significantly held in check last week by Kentucky. A large part of the Gators’ rushing offense is the QB run. Anthony Richardson provides a lot more explosion in that facet of the game. Also, an inferior defense will help greatly. Florida should look to get into the 300 yard rushing range vs Vanderbilt to get that back on track for LSU next week.
Florida vs Vanderbilt Score Prediction
Gators 56 – Commodores 14
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