The Florida Gators are coming off a surprisingly easy 38-20 win over Georgia in Jacksonville and will now try to post consecutive victories for the first time since Sept. 6 and 13 when it plays at Vanderbilt Saturday. This week could also mark the first two consecutive conference wins for Florida since October of last year.
Though the Commodores have won two of their three past games, they are winless in conference and might be just what Florida needs to prove the team is moving in the right direction and can remain consistent. Florida also needs a win to keep its hopes alive for an SEC East title.
Last week freshman Treon Harris started in place of the benched Jeff Driskel at quarterback, going just 3-of-6 passing for 27 yards while adding 37 rushing yards.
Florida coach Will Muschamp said he was very pleased with how Harris handled his first start against Georgia.
“He’s a very calm composed young man. He doesn’t get flustered a lot. I saw that on Friday in our walk through into Saturday morning at the hotel. Talking to him…if he was nervous he does a good job of faking it that he’s not, I can assure you of that.”
There is a chance Harris might not throw many passes against Vanderbilt as game time temperatures could dip into the upper 30’s.
The Gators went with a more conservative approach with Harris under center‚ resulting in a whopping 418 yards on 60 attempts on the ground. Matt Jones and Kelvin Taylor were both workhorses in the Georgia win‚ as both had 25 carries and two scores while combining for 389 yards. Sophomore Kelvin Taylor talked about the friendly competition he has with Jones.
“Matt’s like my big brother. I love him. He gets me better and I get him better. I feel like if we can keep doing that then we can have great success Me and Matt, I think, we could keep doing that for the rest of the season.”
Offensive Coordinator Kurt Roper says that the offense is going to have to throw the ball more in this upcoming game.
“I still think obviously we have some work to do in the passing game and we’ve got to grow and obviously that’s got to be a dimension that we have in our offense to be able to stay successful and make plays.”
Defensively‚ the Gators have played well in allowing just 337.7 yards per game and 24.7 points per game, and last week they held Georgia’s potent rushing attack to just 141 yards. While Vanderbilt does not have a Todd Gurley type of running back, Gainesville native and red shirt freshman Ralph Webb leads the team with 760 yards rushing. He had his best performance of the year last week against Old Dominion with 31 carries for 166 yards but Vanderbilt as a whole is 10th in the league in rushing offense.
ESPN 850 WRUF’s live coverage of the Florida-Vanderbilt game begins at 4:30 pm on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.