Florida returns to the state of Tennessee on Saturday for another SEC East matchup with Vanderbilt. The No. 23 Gators should play with a chip of their shoulder after suffering their first loss of the season last week to the Vols. Here are five predictions on the eve of the game.
1. Does Jordan Scarlett continue to emerge?
Yes. Scarlett has been the best of Florida’s four-headed monster at running back. He leads the team in carries, yards and touchdowns, but only received 10 touches at Tennessee. Look for Scarlett to get the ball more against the Commodores and separate himself from the pack.
2. Will UF attack the ’Dores poor pass defense?
Early and often. Vanderbilt has the worst pass defense in the SEC, allowing 274 yards per game. Florida quarterback Austin Appleby will surpass that and have a big day throwing the ball. Appleby is trying to make his case for the starting job, so he’ll be out to prove a point in Nashville.
3. Can Florida’s secondary rebound at Vandy
Easily. The Commodores are equally as bad in pass offense. It’s ranked the second-worst unit in the league and has the fewest amount of long passing plays. A motivated group of Gators defensive backs will guard Vanderbilt’s receivers much better and create some coverage sacks.
4. Will Ralph Webb go for 100 yards again?
No. The Gainesville native rushed for 118 yards last year in The Swamp, but 74 of those came on his touchdown play just before halftime. Outside of that carry, he rushed 21 times for just 44 yards. Florida be all over him in this game and keep a lid on his big-play potential.
5. Who wins?