Florida Vs. Vanderbilt Preview: Reality Check

Sam Greenwood - Getty Images

Both of these teams have a reason to have a letdown game this week. Only one of them will, and it might not be that much of a letdown

Florida Gators vs. Vanderbilt Commodores, 6 p.m. ET, ESPNU

So who is this more of a "letdown game" for? After all, most of the hype has gone to Florida's likelihood to fall back to earth a little bit after closing down LSU's defense last week, but it's not like Vanderbilt didn't have its own big game a week ago. Don't forget that our friends in Nashville got their first conference victory at Missouri.

Well, there is the tiny matter that Florida has a far greater reason to look ahead than Vanderbilt does. On the other side of this week's game are a home battle with South Carolina and the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Vanderbilt will be facing Auburn and Massachusetts at that time. Slight difference.

The thing that might keep Florida from underperforming too much is that they don't have to get complicated to win this game. Mike Gillislee keys the third-best rushing attack in the SEC so far; Vanderbilt's rushing defense is 11th in the league, allowing 179 yards a game on the ground. Sure, the passing defense is stronger, but Florida's not a team that's going to air the ball out to win the game. (Things I never thought I would write ...)

The Commodores, meanwhile, haven't been able to get much going on either side of the offense. The rushing attack is 10th in the league and the passing attack is 11th -- and passing efficiency is only 10th, so it's not like Vanderbilt's being underestimated because of selective use of the air game. In fact, the Commodores have yet to score more than 19 points against an FBS team.

But there's a bright side for Vanderbilt. At least the contest against Auburn won't be a letdown game.

Florida 34, Vanderbilt 9

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