Will the Florida Gators Look Past Vanderbilt to South Carolina?

James WalkerAnalyst IINovember 1, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 31:  Head coach Urban Meyer (R) of the Florida Gators leads his team onto the field to face the Georgia Bulldogs at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on October 31, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It has been reported that Coach Urban Meyer, Tim Tebow, Brandon Spikes, and other key members of the Florida Gators had a meeting of the minds, and are now all on the same page. 

Obviously you can see the result of that post-Mississippi State game team meeting, with the latest 41-17 blowout of the Georgia Bulldogs. It's a shame that Georgia wasted the opportunity to wear their black helmets for the first time.

Now the Gators must focus on their next stop on the road to Atlanta—Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt is 2-7 on the season, 0-5 in conference play, and in last place in the SEC East Division. Offensively, well let's just say they've been quite offensive this season.  The Commodores are ranked No. 93 in total offense, No. 109 in passing offense, and No. 110 in scoring offense.

Defensively, they've fared slightly better, but not enough to concern Florida.

Tim Tebow and roommate wide receiver Riley Cooper seemed to have ironed out the wrinkles in the playbook, but Deonte Thompson and Dave Nelson still remain absent in the passing attack. Tight end Aaron Hernandez remains a playmaker any time he touches the ball.

Florida's running game still remains potent with Jeff Demps, Chris Rainey, and Emmanuel Moody. Ranked No. 6 in the nation, the Gators average 252.25 yards per game on the ground, and we cannot forget that Mr. Tebow makes up for a good portion of those yards.

Looming after Vanderbilt is the Ole Ball Coach, Mr. Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks. It is the last SEC game of the season for the Florida Gators, and it's conceivable that the Gators could look past Vanderbilt to that game. Besides, nothing would please Spurrier more than defeating his alma mater while they are on their way to another National Championship.

Conventional wisdom makes one ponder if the Gators can keep focused on the task at hand, which is the Vanderbilt Commodores.  

Coach Urban Meyer will tell you that the Gators will only prepare for the Commodores, and not even think about South Carolina until the day after the Vanderbilt game.  Unfortunately, we humans struggle with human nature, and it will be difficult not to look ahead.

Surely the OBC is looking forward to the Gators stopping by Columbia in two weeks.

Besides, Florida must continue to improve on offense, and get Thompson and Nelson more involved in the passing game.  Florida's offensive line must also improve on pass protection. They cannot continue relying on Tebow's legs whenever a pass play goes sour.

Florida's defense continues to be outstanding, but the injury bug has arrived. Spikes was one of the first bitten, but now seems to be back to his old self again. The Gators have had to rely heavily on the defense in key games this season, and that will continue, for defense wins championships.

I have a feeling that the Commodores will give the Gators a good game, but come up short when it is all said and done. Nor will I be surprised if Vanderbilt keeps it close for all four quarters. Let's just hope the Gators are prepared to play all four quarters.