Vanderbilt Commodores at Florida Gators
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, Florida
Saturday, November 5, 2011, 12:20 pm Eastern, SEC Network, MSG, Altitude, ESPN Game Plan
Opening Line: Florida -9 1/2
Current Line: Florida -13 1/2
Opening Total: 44
Current Total: 44 1/2
Opening Money Line: Florida -505 / Vanderbilt +405
Current Money Line: Florida -600 / Vanderbilt +450
Vanderbilt and Florida are both 4-4 this year. Though both teams are eliminated from winning the SEC East Division, this is still an important game for both teams as they need it to become bowl eligible as they have difficult games remaining. Vanderbilt is coached by James Franklin, and has home wins over Elon 45-14, UConn 24-21, Ole Miss 30-7, and Army 44-21. The Commodores have lost 4 of the last 5 games, after starting off 3-0. Vanderbilt has road losses at South Carolina 21-3, and Alabama 34-0, along with home losses to Georgia 33-28 and last week against Arkansas 31-28. Florida is coached by Will Muschamp, and started off the season 4-0, but has since lost 4 games in a row to ranked teams. Florida has home wins over Florida Atlantic 41-3, UAB 39-0, Tennessee 33-23, and at Kentucky 48-10. The Gators have a home loss to Alabama 38-10, road losses at LSU 41-11 and Auburn 17-6, and last week against Georgia 24-20 in Jacksonville. Florida leads the series 33-9-2, including 2-18-1 in Gainesville. Florida has won 20 straight in the series dating back to 1988, including 55-14 last year in Nashville.
Last week, Vanderbilt hosted #10 Arkansas. The Commodores were 8 point underdogs on the college football betting line. Vanderbilt was up 28-20 at the end of the third quarter. Vanderbilt drove deep into the Arkansas red zone early in the fourth when disaster struck. Vanderbilt fumbled and Arkansas ran it back 94 yards for a touchdown. It was one of 3 turnovers for Vanderbilt. Arkansas had 7 penalties and 2 turnovers. The Razorbacks tied it up with a two point conversion, and took the lead with a field goal with 7 minutes to go. Vanderbilt missed a 27 yard field goal with 8 seconds left that would have tied it, and the final was 31-28 Arkansas. Vanderbilt had 462 total yards including 222 rushing yards. Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers, younger brother of the Packer’s Aaron, threw for 240 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for 66 yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back Zac Stacy had 19 carries for 128 yards, and a touchdown, along with 3 catches for 51 yards. Receiver Jordan Matthews had 6 catches for 151 yards and a touchdown. Arkansas had 388 total yards but only 72 rushing yards.
Vanderbilt averages 320.4 total yards including 152.6 passing yards and 167.8 rushing yards. The Commodores average 25.2 points a game. Vanderbilt has 20 turnovers and has allowed 20 sacks this season. The Commodores are 38/117 on third and fourth down conversions, and 17/21 scoring in the red zone with 13 touchdowns. Vanderbilt allows 331.9 yards and 22.8 points a game. The Commodores give up 206.9 passing yards and 125 rushing yards a game. Vandy has forced 22 turnovers and 17 sacks this season. Vanderbilt opponents are 56/138 on third and fourth down conversions, and 15/19 scoring in the red zone with 10 touchdowns. Vanderbilt has 4 defensive/special teams touchdowns this season, but has give up 4 as well.
Vanderbilt quarterback Larry Smith was benched two games ago in favor of Rodgers. Smith was 59/103 passing for 481 yards, 3 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 2 rushing touchdowns. Rodgers is 49/105 passing for 662 yards, with 3 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 55 carries, 256 yards, and 3 touchdown runs. Stacy has 97 carries, 707 yards, and 6 touchdowns, along with 14 catches for 69 yards. He also has a touchdown pass and 2 interceptions in 4 attempts. Jerron Seymour has 56 carries 211 yards, and 4 touchdowns, and 9 catches for 108 yards. Matthews has 14 catches, 268 yards, and 2 touchdown receptions. Chris Boyd has 15 catches, 242 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Jonathan Krause and Wesley Tate also get significant targets. Kicker Casey Spear is 24/25 on extra points and 4/7 on field goals with a long of 37 yards. Ryan Fowler has also kicked a couple of extra points. Vanderbilt has 6 players listed as questionable or out including 3 defensive players.
Florida was up 17-10 at halftime last week in Jacksonville in their annual game against rival Georgia. However, the Bulldogs outscored them 14-3 in the second half to win 24-20 and cover the 3.5 point spread. Georgia took the lead early in the fourth. Florida got the ball with 6 minutes left at Georgia’s 36 yard line, but the Gators turned the ball over on downs after losing 5 yards on 4 plays. Georgia ran out the clock from that point on to seal the win. Florida only had 226 total yards, including -19 rushing yards, and 11 first downs. They scored one offensive touchdown, and had a 99 yard kick return in the second quarter from Jeff Demps, plus two field goals. Florida also missed a field goal. The Gators had 2 turnovers and 14 penalties. Florida quarterback Jeff Brantley threw for 245 yards and a touchdown, but was sacked 6 times. Demps had 1 catch for 72 yards. Jordan Reed had 4 catches, 69 yards, and a touchdown. Georgia had 354 total yards including 185 rushing yards.
Florida is averaging 337.6 yards and 26 points a game. The Gators average 186.4 passing yards and 151.2 rushing yards. Florida has 16 turnovers and has allowed 17 sacks. The Gators are 35/106 on third and fourth down conversions, and 22/26 scoring in the red zone with 11 touchdowns. Florida is allowing 297.2 yards and 19.5 points a game. The Gators are giving up only 168 .5 passing yards a game. All three are in the top 25 nationally. The Gator’s rush defense allows 128.8 yards a game. Florida has forced 8 turnovers and 14 sacks. Gator opponents are 37/125 on third and fourth down conversions, and 22/27 scoring in the red zone with 15 touchdowns. Florida is averaging over 9 penalties a game for 71 yards a game. Florida has 3 defensive/special teams touchdowns.
Brantley is 78/136 passing for 1,187 yards with 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett also have taken significant snaps this season. Running back Chris Gainey has 108 carries, 526 yards, and 2 touchdowns, along with 20 catches, 305 yards, and 2 touchdowns. He also has a punt return for a touchdown. Rainey has over 1,000 all purpose yards. he is probable with an ankle injury. Demps has 47 carries, 336 yards, and 4 touchdowns along with 11 catches for 144 yards. Demps has over 600 all purpose yards. Mike Gillislee has 37 carries, 258 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Gillislee is also probable with an ankle injury. Trey Burton has 25 catches, 90 yards, and 3 touchdowns, along 14 catches, 104 yards, and a touchdown. Receiver Andre Debose has 10 catches for 247 yards and 2 touchdowns. Deonte Thompson, Reed and Frankie Hammond also get significant catches. Kicker Caleb Sturgis is 19/19 on extra points and 15/16 on field goals with a long of 51 yards. He is probable with a leg injury. If he can’t go Brad Phillips will handle the kicking duties. He is 2-2 on extra points and 2/3 on field goals with a long of 43 yards.
Florida is 3-4-1 against the spread this season and the total is 4-4 in those games. Vanderbilt is 6-2 ATS and the total is 4-4 this year. The Commodores 4-1 ATS after a cover, 6-2 overall, and on grass, 3-8 in conference, 3-9 as an underdog, 2-7 following a straight up loss, 1-7 as an underdog of 10.5 points or more, including 0-5 on the road, 0-4 in November, 0-6 in road games, and 0-6 as a road underdog. The Gators are 5-0 ATS as a home favorite of 10.5 points or more, 4-0-1 as a home favorite, 4-1-1 at home, 12-4 in November, 23-8 as favorite of 10.5 points or more, 36-17-1 as a favorite, 0-4 in conference games, overall and on grass.
Both of these teams struggle on offense but Vanderbilt is improving somewhat with Rodgers running the offense. Vanderbilt has had 2 closes losses in a row to Georgia and Arkansas. I do think Vanderbilt has a puncher’s chance of pulling off the upset, or at least covering the spread, which is good enough for college football handicappers playing the Commodores.
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