As we enter October, the least profitable college football team in the nation has easily been SEC school Vanderbilt. The Commodores are 2-4 straight up but the only 0-6 against the spread team in the country – even failing to cover at home against FCS side Alabama A&M early in the year. Vandy is an 18.5-point underdog for this Saturday at fellow SEC disappointment Florida.
One can understand Vandy losing the past two weeks by 17 points each against ranked Kentucky and Missouri, but a three-point loss at UNLV in the non-conference finale as a 4.5-point favorite? SEC schools are not supposed to visit non-power opponents, much less lose to them.
Coach Clark Lea made a QB change for this past Saturday’s 38-21 home loss to No. 23 Missouri. Lea started senior Ken Seals to give sophomore AJ Swann time to heal up a bruised right elbow. #AnchorDown didn’t even each 100 yards of offense until 7:19 remained in the third against the Tigers.
Seals finished with OK numbers, completing 20-for-31 for 259 yards, two TDs and a pick but a fair amount of that was in garbage time. No word on who will start yet vs. the Gators but likely Swann if he’s healthy. Wideout Will Sheppard is having a terrific season regardless with 32 catches for 443 yards and seven TDs. He currently sits in ninth in school history for catches (137) and tied for fourth with 20 receiving touchdowns.
Florida (3-2 SU, 1-4 ATS) boasts the top passing defense in the SEC (144.0), ranking third in the FBS behind Penn State and Marshall. The #GoGators have limited teams to 17.4 points per game (20th nationally), an 11.5-point improvement from 2022 (28.9).
Wisconsin transfer QB Graham Mertz has completed 79.1% of his passes for Florida, which leads the SEC and ranks third nationally behind Oregon’s Bo Nix and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy.
The Gators are 3-0 at home this year compared to 0-2 away. Florida is 21-1 against the Commodores in Gainesville dating to 1960 and 30-2 overall in the series since 1989. UF has outscored VU by an average of 19.6 PPG in that span. Last year, though, Vandy was a 31-24 winner in Nashville to snap an eight-game skid overall in the series.