Georgia Review / Vanderbilt Preview

Not Dead Yet!

The Gators remain alive for a shot at Atlanta, rallying together in the off week to put together (finally) an offensive game plan that utilized the strengths of the players, and overcoming quite a few self-inflicted “flesh wounds”. The first overtime game in series history turned into an instant classic.

It was certainly a stirring win with so much going in a negative direction the entire month of October – bad play, even worse play-calling, and injuries. It looks like the team is starting to buy in to the team concept as the only way it can really compete for anything meaningful.

While the game turned into a shootout in the second half, it really only became close because of horrendous 3rd down defense (or lack thereof) by Florida. Teryl Austin has to be criticized for some of the schemes he dialed up, leaving the middle of the field open too often, and also getting some strange coverage matchups with LBs and DEs on TEs and WRs. This has to be corrected.

The offense got back to its roots with a powerful option run game to complement an efficient passing attack. The offensive staff is to be commended for figuring out a way to get 2 (and sometimes 3) QBs on the filed at the same time, while using motion to line them up at QB depending on the play call. The return of Chris Rainey at RB was a big boost, as was getting enough quality snaps out of Demps. The WRs came up with some clutch plays to keep drives alive and covert some long-yardage situations. Hammond and Hines are starting to elevate their play, and are becoming reliable targets.

Finally, a few words about that hypocrite Mark Pricht and Mr. Choke, Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham. What a pair of losers……the usual classless acts we’ve come to expect from the Puppies. Talk about making it that much sweeter for Chas Henry to kick them to the curb – AGAIN! Hey Puppies – how did that hob-nail boot to the face feel? Once again, I-75 north back to Athens, er, Loserville, is The Trail of Tears.

Now it’s on to Nashville to face Vanderbilt. It looks like it’s going to be a chilly day up there, so expect continued pounding of the running game early to set up some safe passing later. Despite it’s struggles the first half of the season, Florida still owns a huge talent advantage,and should be able to slowly take control of this game. The Gators still have a lot to clean up — penalties, missed blocking assignments in pass protection, and improved pass coverage concepts to protect the middle of the field.

The Commodores just lost leading rusher Warren Norman to injury for the rest of the season. Their running game was the only real bright spot on this team, as their passing game is mediocre at best. Their defense lacks depth as usual, and has been wearing down with regularity in the second half of games.

Historically Florida has struggled to cover the spread in Nashville, and this could be a sandwich game before the SEC East showdown at the Swamp next week against South Carolina. Also, it’s going to be a cool day and an early start, so the staff will be challenged to have the team ready to go from the opening kickoff. However, with so much work still to do to improve all facets of the game, I have to believe the players will be focused enough to take care of their business.

Prediction – Florida 31 Vanderbilt 14