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OGT 2023 Week 6: Vanderbilt at Florida (10/7/2023)

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The Florida Gators (3-2, 1-1) return home with their tails between their legs after a molly-whopping at the hands of the Kentucky Wildcats. Their opponent will be the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-4, 0-2) who are coming off four successive losses to Missouri, Kentucky, UNLV, and Wake Forest after going 2-0 in weeks 0 and 1. Florida leads the all-time series 43-11-2, which goes back to 1945. Last year the Gators lost this match-up 24-31 in a game where they could not get the run game going despite Napier having 5,327 offensive line coaches and 69 (nice) running back analysts.


The Gators have a slightly better running game, but I would not expect it to show up today. Maybe Coach Napier will make better use of the 5,327 analysts this week and he will draw up an amazing plan to keep the Gators above 0.500 for one more week before they face the top 12 SEC teams South Carolina, #1 Georgia, Arkansas, #13 LSU, and #23 Missouri. By then FSU will likely be ranked in the top 3.
Total Yards371.5392.6
Yards Passing274.2247.0
Yards Rushing97.3145.6
Yards Allowed408.8275.6
Pass Yards Allowed261.0144.0
Rush Yards Allowed147.8131.6

CategoryVAN LeaderFLA Leader
PassingA. Swann 93-173 1290 YD 11 TD 7 INTG. Mertz 109-138 1195 YD 6 TD 2 INT
RushingP. Smith 57 CAR 238 YD 2 TDT. Etienne 60 CAR 358 YD 2 TD
ReceivingW. Sheppard 32 REC 443 YD 7 TDR. Pearsall 29 REC 424 YD 2 TD

Scouting the Gators​

PosNo.Player 1
WR-X 14Douglas, Caleb SO
WR-X 222Jackson, Kahleil RS SO
WR-Z 13Wilson III, Eugene FR
WR-Z 216Chiaokhiao-Bowman, Thai SO/TR
WR-Y 11Pearsall, Ricky SR/TR
WR-Y 200Fraziars, Ja’Quavion JR
LT 158Barber, Austin RS SO
LT 274Hudson II, Lyndell RS SR/TR
LG 167Leonard IV, Richie JR
LG 277Harris, Knijeah FR
OC 165Eguakun, Kingsley RS JR
OC 266Slaughter, Jake RS SO
RG 154Mazzccua, Micah JR/TR
RG 252Farmer, Jalen RS FR
RT 176George Jr., Damieon JR/TR
RT 275Waites, Kamryn RS SO/TR
LTE 189Hansen, Hayden RS FR
LTE 218Zanders, Dante RS SR
RTE 18Boardingham, Arlis RS FR
RTE 287Odom, Jonathan RS JR
QB 115Mertz, Graham RS JR/TR
QB 210Miller III, Jack RS SO/TR
RB 12Johnson Jr., Montrell JR/TR
RB 27Etienne, Trevor SO
DE 194Sapp, Tyreak RS SO
DE 224James, Kamran FR
NT 199Jackson, Cam JR/TR
NT 295Lyons, Jamari RS FR
DT 188Banks, Caleb RS SO/TR
DT 27McClellan, Chris SO
JACK 11Umanmielen, Princely JR
JACK 219Searcy, T.J. FR
MLB 117Williams, Scooby RS SO
MLB 220Mitchell, Teradja RS SR/TR
WLB 16James, Shemar SO
WLB 234Nunnery, Mannie RS JR/TR
LCB 18Kimber, Jalen RS JR/TR
LCB 228Moore, Devin SO
SS 114Castell, Jordan FR
SS 216Moten, R.J. JR/TR
FS 110Mitchell, Miguel SO
FS 218Thornton, Bryce FR
RCB 13Marshall Jr., Jason JR
RCB 22Jackson, Ja’Keem FR
STAR 123Hill, Jaydon RS JR
STAR 200Denson, Sharif FR

Scouting the Commodores​

PosNo.Player 1
WR-X14Sheppard, Will SR
WR-Z83Humphreys, London FR
WR-SL6McGowan, Jayden SO
LT55Hansen, Gunnar RS SO
LG64Castillo, Delfin Xavier JR
OC62Hernandez, Julian GR
RG71Pitchford, Gage RS SO
RT50Ashmore, Bradley SR
TE-H84Ball, Justin GR
TE-F18Kyle, Logan RS JR
QB5Swann, AJ SO
RB4Smith, Patrick JR
DE11Agu, Darren SO
NT99Lee, Devin JR
DT15Clifton, Nate GR
STAR00DiCosmo, Aeneas GR/TR
WLB19Patterson, Kane SR/TR
MLB32Barr, Ethan SR
FCB30Berry, Trudell RS FR
SS2Wright, De’Rickey SR
FS23Mahoney, Jaylen GR
BCB25Hight, Martel FR


The Gators will be favored in this match-up for some stupid reason. I give up on my predictions just as the Gators gave up on themselves in the game against Kentucky.


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Ali Peak has (finally) released her postgame response on YouTube...and as I thought, the delay was clearly the product of her frustration and disappointment with what she too saw out there in Lexington.
Ali hits ALL the salient points: She even goes so far as to condemn their not singing UF's Fight Song after the game; she gives the supposed reasons why, but "throws a flag" on them anyway.
Now, be all that as it may, she concentrates on FACTS--and those mostly land right on BILLY NAPIER'S HEAD. Find it, READ it.
Ali has been a staunch, if clear-eyed and realistic supporter of Coach Napier, after all...She TRIES to remain fair and even-handed now, but even SHE bares her teeth and claws somewhat at some of his specific decisions, and the general direction he continues to take this offense.
By now we here have already noted and vented our spleen regarding the same issues. But I STILL recommend you all check this one out (it has a large medium shot of Coach Napier with the large words, "NOT AGAIN?" posted over top):
She says it ALL, and says it WELL--and if SHE is saying it (close as she is to the team AND tireless supporter she is thought to BE), it is heard, and OTHERS are no doubt saying it in the halls of the UF Athletic Dept. too.
Ali is NOT calling for Billy s head....In fact, she winds it all up discussing a path OUT of the acknowledged hole she grants we are IN:
"You all MUST go out and win these next two games BEFORE the Cocktail Party, against two teams we ought to BEAT (on paper) but WON'T if we play like we did yesterday."
If Billy doesn't listen to anything or anyone else that has been part of the rising din since about midgame against UK yesterday, he cannot, SHOULD NOT ignore the stark and honest truth Ms Peak has posted.
I can tell you all with fair amount of confidence that his PLAYERS have read it by now. Married to a former Gator, still active around the department and whose growing online presence has given her a rising profile among those who quietly measure the pulse of this team, SOME AMONG that group are noting and considering its merit and effect, I am sure. This is when our Coach can either make some changes "because they need to be MADE", or stiffen in his "stubborn pride" and redoubled efforts to "beat a dead horse". If the latter is the response, we will all see it onfield in THE RESULTS--and an ugly train wreck will be the inevitable ultimate outcome.


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Vanderbilt hasn’t scored a point in Gainesville since 2017.
After yesterday's performance, and Billy's what-I-most-feared/"deer-in-the-headlights"-version of a presser, I am thoroughly disillusioned...Neither "logic" nor "hope" remain for me at the moment: We could EASILY lose EVERY GAME LEFT ON OUR SCHEDULE.
In which case, no telling WHAT will happen with our Coach OR indeed WHOLE PROGRAM: Recruiting and everything ELSE could go south. Who knows? We could be a gutted, hopelessly floundering and completely irrelevant program by December, one that is a wrecked shadow of the mess it was when Billy GOT here.. We are teetering on the edge of just such a precipice.
Yes, it's that bad.
I have so many questions--the same ones so many OTHERS are asking! I am as tired of asking them as I figure most of us are tired of HEARING.
And there it is:
SO many terrible signposts as to where this team and program is and where it is headed.
There is just too much hopelessly wrong right now for me to join the ample descriptions online already thoroughly detailing it all.
You can simply go to Ali's latest and Gator Dave's Sunday expanded "Gator Breakdown" show on YouTube for a painfully accurate and complete deconstruction of the aftermath.
There's lots I could say, but the truth is there is little I can add. Bottom line: We just were not ready to play.
And our Coach's (sickeningly predictable) postgame presser really WAS one long classic NON-ANSWER. I mean, he DOES come straight out and take responsibility, but he continues to somehow keep that vague and impersonal.
EVERYTHING YOU SAY GOES BACK ON YOU, COACH! Where's the fire??! And WTF are y'all DOING about ANY of it?
And by the way: ANY "answer" has to begin ON THE FIELD!
I still can't get over the same kinds of careless mistakes out there week-after-week. You need to show a little concern, even ANGER for that kind of thing already, Coach! Between the endless missed tackles, crucially foolish ill-timed penalties, and stupid ORGANIZATIONAL failures leaving us repeatedly with the wrong guys, the wrong NUMBER of guys ON THE FIELD!
Then there is Special Teams. No...I have to simply stop there. It is this Coach's second season, when generally things COACHING can control shows great improvement--but in our case that clearly HASN'T come to pass. The "detail guy" is missing DETAILS.
And I'm sorry, but this Coach is NOT a real imaginative play caller. There's talent on this team now, but our Coach isn't really using it. Hell, he's somewhat inexplicably not even PLAYING some of them (Where is Wilson III? Why is Etienne not the lead-RB?).
My biggest fear going forward is that we could lose much of this recruiting class. In which case, the one thing this Coach has clearly been doing right will be gone--and so will he...and THAT, my friends, will mean at least ANOTHER TEN YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS.
Our one remaining hope goes like this:
Somehow do enough with the rest of the season to hold this class--SOMEHOW turn enough things around to win enough games and give enough a general impression of competence to let this latest embarrassment somewhat fade--add some talent and depth somehow on the O-line and see if the expected improvement comes NEXT season (against an even TOUGHER schedule, by the way)...After that, well, either this is all behind us or, "buy-out clause" or not Coach AND AD are probably gone--and beyond THAT, for Gator Football at least lies an empty void of unknown duration.
Like most Gators, I am left with an empty, gnawing feeling deep in my gut.


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At the moment we MIGHT be the worst team in the SEC...That's what we are playing for next Saturday (and if we lose at home, we'll remove all doubt).


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Florida will be without WR Caleb Douglas, TE Jonathan Odom, RB Trevor Etienne, and LT Austin Barber.

The one thing we still have going for us is that the Gators have scored in 441 consecutive games, an NCAA-record streak that began in 1988.
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Can't say I am feeling any better about this team OR this game than I did the last time I left visited (and then promptly FORGOT ABOUT) this thread (sorry everyone...E--most of all).
With the guys we have out (or just GONE) I suspect we will suck worse than ever...and BY THE WAY: "SEC Now" just had a littke onfiekd pregame interview with Billy Napier, and I am sorry to say that at this point his measured tones in spouting the same old tired cliches is like NAILS ON GLASS to me. I just don't wanna HEAR it anymore--not until your team's play shows us that ANY of it actually WORKS.
Now, with Etienne out and Wilson III back, one would THINK that the passing game might be more a feature today--but who knows?
Whatever happens, they must play CLEAN.
I think their Flintstones-era offense is a boring bogged down mess--but no one ever offered ME "billionaire money" as a Head Coach and OC.
Then again, those that offered HIM might be about ready to withdraw it soon too.


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Well--That Vandy offense looks even worse than ours.
But now we start at our own 6...
GEEZ! Damn near a lateral and DISASTER!
BUT Mertz to Piersal saves them.
Passes scripted to open here.


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I thought we had some OTHER RBs...
JOHNSONneeds a shifty "counterpunch" runner back there.


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I would be HAPPY to see the whole game go like this. Make me SO wrong.


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Good Plays:
  • 2nd & 10 at FLA 7​

    (12:28 - 1st) Graham Mertz pass complete to Ricky Pearsall for 18 yds to the FLA 25 for a 1ST down
  • 3rd & 2 at FLA 47​

    (9:52 - 1st) Montrell Johnson Jr. run for 34 yds to the VAN 19 for a 1ST down
  • 1st & 5 at VAN 14​

    (9:05 - 1st) Ricky Pearsall run for 14 yds for a TD (Trey Smack KICK)


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Let's see: We had it on their side of midfield; 2 plays later THEY are in the endzone.
We are a broken team.
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