College Football Pick
Florida was looking good, up 21-3 on Tennessee at halftime and then the second half happened and they fell 38-28. And so, with that loss, the Gators may have to win out in order to have a shot at the SEC East title and hope that the Vols lose somewhere along the line. To help get back on track, they’re at Vanderbilt this weekend and opened as a -10 point favorite at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
At the least, Florida should get back on the winning side this week. Vanderbilt has a couple wins, but both of those came against C-USA teams. In Games against South Carolina and Georgia Tech, the Commodores could only muster 17 points. Going against a stout Florida defense, they’ll have trouble once again.
The Gators were stout defensively until Joshua Dobbs and Tennessee gashed them last weekend. They manhandled their first three opponents, but none of them were all that good. Then again, Vanderbilt isn’t all that good.
But the ‘Dores should have some confidence, coming off a win and nearly pulling off an upset in Gainesville last season. It was an ugly Game that the Gators won, 9-7. Neither offense could really do anything with Vandy quarterback Johnny McCrary going a miserable 3-of-14 for 30 yards. The problem again could be that passing Game since Florida’s secondary is nearly as good as a season ago. Nearly is the key word because Dobbs just lit them up.
But what we know is that Vandy’s new starting QB, Kyle Shurmur, isn’t as good as Dobbs. Through Four Games, Shurmur is completing 55.2% of his passes for three TDs and two INTs. against South Carolina, the toughest defense he’s faced, he was 8-for-22 for 73 yards. Obviously, they’ll run as much as possible behind Ralph Webb, but that can only take you so far. Webb had 118 yards in this Game last year and Vandy could only muster seven points.
The difference this year looks like it will be the Florida offense. The Gators couldn’t do anything with Treon Harris at quarterback in 2015, but this year has been different. They’ve gotten competent quarterback play from both LUke Del Rio and somewhat Austin Appleby. Del Rio is doubtful to play in this Game, but Appleby did throw three touchdowns in the loss to the Vols.
As long as Appleby doesn’t throw the Game away, Florida’s ground Game should do a little better than last year. If not, this could easily turn into another low-scoring Game. Jordan SCarlett and Mark Thompson have split duties in the backfield, but both are still near 5.0 yards per carry. That number is slightly worrisome considering the opponents they’ve played and Vandy has a solid run defense.
With Appleby likely to start, an upset definitely isn’t out of the cards for Vanderbilt, they’ll just need to find a way to score. That said, it’s not a guarantee the Gators will be able to Scoreall that easily either, especially if the running Game can’t find any room. Betting on the Gators would mean you have some kind of trust in Appleby, the former Purdue quarterback, who has a career 22 passing TDs and 20 interceptions.
Our Pick – Florida has dominated this series however last years final was 9-7 with the Gators on top. With neither team lighting up the scoreboard this year, we could see more of the same. Hard to trust the Gators to cover a 10 point number. Vanderbilt +10