Photo credit: Imagn, and the University of Florida athletic association
We'll keep this intro short: The entire Sports Illustrated-AllGators staff is predicting a one-sided blowout this Saturday when the Florida Gators face the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville, Tennessee. And it should be easy to guess in whose favor, but read on if you're still left hanging a bit.
As always, staff records are compiled from game picks that are not against the spread. However, the current line for Saturday is Florida by 31.5.
Zach Goodall (5-1): Florida 59, Vanderbilt 3
Look down the rest of this story and you'll realize my prediction is one of the most conservative. No disrespect towards Florida or respect towards Vanderbilt by that, rather, Florida should start pulling its starters at halftime.
Seriously. This one should never be close and if there is a hint of non-domination by Florida in any aspect, there should be some concern. Vanderbilt is the worst team in the conference and one of if not the worst team in the nation this season; Quarterback Kyle Trask is the frontrunner for the Heisman while Florida has serious playoff hopes.
With that, I expect Florida to once again put up 35+ points in the first half, Trask to push, set, or extend some sort of SEC passing record, and be removed to prevent any injury risk. Florida has nothing left to prove by keeping a player like Trask on the field with a more than comfortable lead, at this point.
Demetrius Harvey (5-1): Florida 70, Vanderbilt 7
The Florida Gators will be taking on the winless Vanderbilt Commodores in a contest that Florida ought to expect to be incredibly one-sided. Coming off of a blow-out victory against the Arkansas Razorbacks, Florida has all of the momentum on its side, even against a team that has played as poorly as the Commodores.
Kyle Trask is now on the final stretch of an incredible, Heisman-worthy season that included a 356-yard, six-touchdown affair that he enjoyed just last week. This week ought to be no different even without tight end Kyle Pitts, the team's most explosive playmaker on offense. In this game, it should be expected Florida effortlessly defeats Vanderbilt, potentially by a margin larger than one year prior when Florida won 56-0.
Expect Florida to play a lot of its freshmen if the game does get out of hand as expected, with quarterbacks Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson seeing a lot of snaps potentially during the second half of the contest.
Brandon Carroll (5-1): Florida 66, Vanderbilt 17
In Florida’s matchup with Vanderbilt in Nashville, there isn’t much of a concern that the Gators could drop one against the winless Commodores. With the Florida offense likely to continue to roll—even in the absence of Kyle Pitts—and the defense getting the closest thing to a tune-up game in the 2020 season, the outcome of this matchup should be similar to the one last weekend against Arkansas.
With the Gators defense struggling to limit the home run hitter to opposing offenses and the ability for the unit to take some chances to figure out their identity going into the closing stretch of the year, Ken Seals will have a few opportunities to get the Commodores a few points on the board. However, Vandy won’t be able to hang close with the talented Gators offense and Florida will cruise to another resounding victory at the expense of Derek Mason’s squad.
Donavon Keiser (5-1): Florida 70, Vanderbilt 13
Go big and go home.
The Gators go on the road and hang 70 on the worst team in the SEC as Kyle Trask throws for another five touchdowns before Emory Jones is handed the reins for the remainder of the afternoon. Trask shouldn't see the field for long, only given six or so possessions to contribute to his Heisman case.
This game won't be close and Florida should cover the 31 point spread with ease due to their high-powered, machine-like offense. The Gators have proven they can score without their best players due to their depth, which will be on display throughout the day on Saturday. Florida will be allowed to play its freshman throughout the afternoon in what will act as a cupcake game for the Gators in a season filled with tough SEC competition.
Michael Knauff (5-1): Florida 59, Vanderbilt 10
If Florida doesn't cover the 31.5 point spread, I'll be shocked, and, frankly, I would consider it a bad outing for the Gators if they didn't.
Anything less than a thorough beat down is not tolerable at this point for Florida. The Gators beat Vanderbilt 56-0 a year ago, and this is a better Gator team and a significantly worse Vanderbilt squad.
Florida may try to continue to work the run game early, just to beat Vanderbilt down and set the tone for the game. Dameon Pierce will break his first 30+ yard run of the season Saturday, while Kyle Trask will toss four+ touchdowns yet again.
The defense will also force multiple turnovers for only the third time this season.
Graham Marsh (4-2): Florida 63, Vanderbilt 3
Vanderbilt doesn’t belong in the SEC at this point given their level of play this year and quite frankly over the last several. They haven’t won a game, and they won’t come close this week. This is the week that Florida’s secondary takes a big step forward and locks up Vanderbilt's receivers all game long. This game will be over, and probably already boring, by the second quarter.