Instant Analysis: Homecoming win

Florida 38 - Vanderbilt 14

by Rafael De Los Santos
0 comment

Please Read: Welcome to the new-look Inside the Gators

After losing to Vanderbilt last year in Nashville, the Gators bounced back in year two under Billy Napier with a 38-14 win over the Commodores. Although the Gators had beaten Vandy by a combined 98-0 in the last two meetings in Gainesville, Florida’s secondary struggled in a game marked by offensive efforts from Montrell Johnson Jr. and Arlis Boardingham.

Inside the Gators’ Instant Analysis takes a quick look at how the game unfolded.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: Florida’s pop pass to Eugene Wilson III extended the Gators’ lead to 21 points in the third quarter. Vanderbilt would go on to put another seven points in the second half as Florida held the Commodores’ offense to 14 points despite some glaring lapses in the Gators’ coverage.

THEY STOLE THE SHOW:  Montrell Johnson Jr. had himself a day in the absence of Trevor Etienne. Ever since the “Bayou Backfield” was formed both Johnson and Etienne have used what was supposed to be positional competition as a strategic partnership. Johnson Jr. had historically served the Gators in short-yardage and redzone situations with Etienne functioning as the explosive, big-play back.

Today, the spotlight was on Johnson who took on both roles as Treyaun Webb played support with four carries for 70 yards. Johnson finished the day with 14 more carries than Webb resulting in 135 yards for one touchdown. The Gators came into the game 11th in the SEC in rushing yards, leaving the game 74.4 yards above their 140.6-yard average.

THESE STATS DON’T LIE:  Florida continues to lack a vertical component to its passing attack, and while it may not be a factor against the McNeeses States and Vanderbilts of the world, the Gators’ schedule is only going to get tougher.

At the half, Graham Mertz’s longest receptions belonged to Montrell Johnson Jr. and Arlis Boardingham on two 19-yard efforts. On the other hand, Ken Seals had connected for an 85-yard touchdown to Will Sheppard, despite the potential offensive pass interference call, and a 52-yard bomb on Ja’Keem Jackson that set up a failed redzone drive.

THIS MATCH-UP PROVED KEY: It was safe to say that predictions for the player leading the Gators in receptions for this game had Ricky Pearsall or even Andy Jean written all over them after Napier hinted at more playing time for the freshman following Caleb Douglas’ injury.

But it was Arlis Boardingham who was nothing short of a nightmare for Vanderbilt’s linebackers all game. Florida offered looks with both Boardingham and Hayden Hansen in a running game that set the tone for the dominant win, leaving the Commodores over committed on play action passes that saw the 6-foot-3 tight end out of Van Nuys, California finish the game with 99 yards and two touchdowns.

WHAT A PLAY:  T.J. Searcy stripped Quincy Skinner Jr. on the Florida 43-yard line to give the Gators just their second fumble recovery of the year. Seven plays and 61 yards later, the Gators would capitalize on the freshman’s efforts with a two-yard touchdown pass to Arlis Boardingham.

Florida came into this game bottom of the SEC in interceptions with zero and recovered fumbles with one. Though the Gators’ pass defense left a lot to be desired, the rush defense held its ground in the Swamp allowing only 58 rushing yards after giving up 329 yards last week at Kentucky.

UP NEXT: The Gators (4-2, 2-1) will travel to South Carolina to face the Gamecocks next Saturday, Oct. 14.

Right-click on the images below to open a bigger version in a new browser

Go to discussion...

Related Articles


Leave a comment

Please log in to your forum account to comment

Community platform by XenForo® © 2010-2022 XenForo Ltd. Style and add-ons by ThemeHouse