The Vanderbilt Commodores fell to Florida 38-24 on Saturday in Gainesville. Prior to the game, VandyMania.com established three keys to a Commodore victory. We will now review those three Keys.
1) KEEP UP THE PRESSURE - PUSH
Unlike Florida opponents Kentucky and Tennessee, Vandy only led the Gators briefly late in the first half. The "Keep up the pressure" key was intended to be for the team taking the lead and adding to it, so as to not allow a UF comeback. Despite not being able to hold the lead the team did make a push with a second-half score that pulled Vandy to within a touchdown. Unfortunately, Vandy got the ball back quickly but only after a Gator touchdown essentially put the game out of reach for Vandy.
2) RALPH WEBB RUNS FOR 100 PLUS - FAIL
Forty-six yards rushing by the Commodores, total. Need I say more? I will anyway. It's a crying shame that Ralph Webb gains just 39 yards in his final appearance in his hometown. That said, at least the Commodore staff opened it up some, likely realizing that the running game is a lost cause. Saige Young and Egidio DellaRipa were new starters at the guard positions. At first glance, one might assume that this was to bolster the running attack. I disagree with that notion. I believe it was more to further bolster pass blocking since the running game isn't working. The Commodores came out slinging, attempted passes (all incomplete) the first three plays of the game. At the end of the game, Vandy had 60 total offensive plays during the game. Twenty of those were runs and forty were passes. I think some of that higher number passes could have been inflated because late in the game the Commodores were playing catch-up.
3) FORGET BAMA - PUSH
Florida Field is a tough place to play. The team did put up a good fight and was in the game in the fourth quarter. However, being on the sideline late in the Kansas State game and for the entire Florida game, it just seemed they weren't 100 percent in it mentally. Maybe I'm way off base here. The team just didn't seem totally with it on Saturday. They'll likely be in a much better frame of mind this weekend.