Vanderbilt hosts Florida on Saturday in Nashville. Here are your three keys to a Vanderbilt victory.
By Don Yates
1. End first quarter blues
The touchdownless first-quarter struggles continue for Vanderbilt. In six games the Commodores have scored a grand total of 3 measly points in the first quarter. What would have been the final score of Vanderbilt’s game at Kentucky had the ‘Dores managed to score a TD in that first quarter? You don’t need a calculator to figure that one out. How about Texas A&M? At least the Commodores tallied a field goal in that game’s first. I like a lot of what I’m seeing in Vandy’s offense. However, they’ve got to compete in the first quarter.
2. Make Trask look like Trash
Sounds really bad, huh? Florida has one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC and nation in Kyle Trask who is headed towards a possible Heisman Trophy season. He’s one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC and nation. To earn a Heisman for himself and championship for his team he needs to be dominant versus Vanderbilt just as LSU’s Joe Burrow was in 2019 with his six touchdown passes. The good news is that Vandy will have some of its more experienced defensive backs back for this one. The Commodores can’t afford to let Trask have a video game type day. Vandy has to do some man-to-man and not allow Florida to pick the ‘Dores apart with short passes all day. Compete and make them earn it.
3. Dare to Believe
In 1996 the eventual national champion Florida Gators rolled into Vanderbilt Stadium to face a Vandy team that would ultimately win just two games. That Gator team expected to demolish Vandy as they had done to most all of their opponents that season. Vandy fought the Gators tooth and nail for four quarters before finally falling 28-21. The highlight of the game for Vanderbilt was when linebacker Jamie Duncan sacked and stripped Florida quarterback and the eventual Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel before rambling for a long TD score. After the game, a stunned Jefferson-Pilot TV commentator said something to the effect that you can never underestimate the power of the human spirit. The Commodores need to have that spirit on Saturday.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 11:00 AM CT (12:00 PM ET). You can watch this Vanderbilt football game on the ESPN Network.