Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dores' David faces Gators' Goliath this Saturday

In the past three games, both Vanderbilt and Florida have seemed to play like their counterparts in the 1990s. Good news for the Gators, bad news for the Commodores. Photo by Neil Brake, Vanderbilt University.
It doesn't get any more difficult than this.

The Florida Gators have defeated their last three opponents by a combined score of 163-36. That's an average of 54-12. An average margin of victory of 42 points. Six touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Vanderbilt has lost its last three games by a combined score of 35-51, averaging just under 12 points per game.

And against an inferior Duke team last week, the Commodores could only muster 7 measly points in a fluke-pass downfield that caught the Blue Devil secondary off guard in the fourth quarter.

There's no question about it: the Commodores, and their lately-named starting quarterback Mackenzi Adams, are facing a giant wearing Orange and Blue this Saturday, led by superhero and Heisman-winner Tim Tebow.

For Florida, only Vanderbilt and South Carolina stand in the way of a perfect season in the SEC East. For Vanderbilt, Florida is the fourth opportunity in as many games to pick up their first "sixth" win in 26 years, and maintain a piece of the lead in the Eastern division.

It's hard to imagine a more difficult scenario for Bobby Johnson, Ted Cain, and Bruce Fowler.

How does one overcome the tremendous sense of letdown and despair that has returned to this program with a vengeance since the devastating loss to Duke at Homecoming?

How does one use the 117th best offense among the 119 Division I schools to beat a team that is averaging 54 points against three SEC defenses?

How does one hope to defeat a team peaking and looking forward to possible national championship hopes when one's own team's once-certain hopes for its first non-losing season in decades seem to be slowly fading into a mirage-like daydream?

Only the Commodores know for sure what they're preparing for Urban Meyer and his Florida Gators when they swarm into Nashville. But one thing's for sure: if the Commodores manage to beat the Gators, no one's going to be talking about the ever-escaping sixth win.

Because it will take a second Music City Miracle for Vanderbilt's shepherd with a sling to defeat Florida's giant with a Heisman.

No comments: