Vanderbilt at Florida: Key info and storylines

by | Oct 6, 2023 | 0 comments

Setting the stage

Week 6 marks the 57th meeting between Florida and Vanderbilt including the 27th matchup in Gainesville.

  • Florida dominates the series with a 43-11-2 lead, winning 30 of the last 32 matchups.
  • In their last two visits to Gainesville, Vanderbilt has not scored a single point, with a combined score of 98-0.
  • Florida is on an active-four game streak against Vanderbilt in Gainesville, with a 21-1 record dating back to 1960.
  • Vanderbilt’s only two wins in Gainesville came in the first-ever meeting in 1945 and in 2013.
  • Since 1989, Florida is 30-2 against Vanderbilt, outscoring them by an average of 19.6 PPG (1,111-485).
  • In the past six meetings, Florida has scored 24 or more points and gained over 445 yards against Vanderbilt.
  • Despite quarterback Anthony Richardson’s 400 yards passing last season, Florida’s eight-game winning streak against Vanderbilt was broken with a 41-24 defeat in Nashville.

Florida head coach Billy Napier is going for his 50th career victory including his 10th at the helm of the Gators. With a win, he would become the ninth coach with 50 or more wins since 2018: Nick Saban (66), Kirby Smart (65), Dabo Swinney (63), Lincoln Riley (59), Luke Fickell (57), Brian Kelly (57), Jim Harbaugh (51) and Josh Heupel (50).

Key stats

Opponent Outlook

Vanderbilt comes into the matchup against Florida with a 2-4 overall record and 0-2 in SEC play. The Commodores are coming off a 38-21 loss at home to ranked Missouri last Saturday. Ken Seals threw for 259 yards and a pair of touchdowns while collecting a rushing touchdown in his first start 11.13.21 vs. Kentucky. Vanderbilt’s offense put up 300 yards for the fifth-consecutive game.

Will Sheppard caught five balls for a season-high 98 yards against Missouri, jumping to 10th in program history with 1,826 receiving
yards. Sheppard is one of six Commodores all-time to rank in the top 10 for career receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns
receptions. He currently sits in ninth for catches (137) and is tied for fourth with 20 receiving touchdowns. Sheppard caught multiple touchdowns in Vanderbilt’s first three games of the season. He is the first Vanderbilt player since at least 1996 to record three consecutive games with two or more touchdown receptions. He is the fifth player in the SEC to record three straight games with multiple touchdown receptions in the same season since 2019, joining Jalin Hyatt (Tennessee), DeVonta Smith (Alabama), Terrace Marshall Jr. (LSU) and Ja’Marr Chase (LSU). Across all of FBS, Sheppard is the ninth player to record three straight games with multiple touchdown receptions in the same season.

Freshman wide receiver London Humphreys, who was named the SEC Freshman of the Week after the Wake Forest game, had his
second-straight 100-yard performance at UNLV, as he caught three passes for 102 yards and a TD. Humphreys is first in the SEC and
fourth nationally among freshmen in total receiving yards this season. His 24.9 yards per catch is tops in the SEC and fifth in FBS.

The Dores’ nine turnovers gained is third in the SEC and 23rd in FBS. John Howse IV grabbed the first interception of his career at
the midway point of the first quarter against Kentucky (9.23.23). Jeffery Ugochukwu tallied his first career interception later in the
game, bringing Vandy’s season tally to seven. This marked the second time this season Vanderbilt had two interceptions in a single
game (8.26.23 vs. Hawai’i). De’Rickey Wright forced a fumble and Darren Agu recovered to close out the first half last Saturday
against Missouri.

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Game Info

Time: 4:00 PM ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Florida Field
Channel: SEC Network
Radio: ESPN Gainesville – WRUF | The Varsity Network | SiriusXM
On the call
Play-by-Play: Dave Neal
Analyst: Matt Stinchcomb
Reporter: Tori Petry

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