JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A week after blowing a 21-point lead against Tennessee, the Florida Gators look to bounce back from their emotional 38-28 loss to the Volunteers. Life in the Southeastern Conference doesn’t allow for losses to linger. If team isn’t focused one loss can quickly lead to two or three in a row. That’s what the Gators will be guarding against when they face Vanderbilt on Saturday.
The 23rd-ranked Gators have beaten the Commodores nine of the past 10 seasons. During last year’s meeting Vanderbilt nearly ruined homecoming before Florida pulled out a 9-7 win clinching the SEC Eastern Division title.
Safety Marcus Maye says the Gators have learned their humbling lesson and know they can't let that happen again.
"We know it takes four quarters, we can't get down on ourselves if we're down," Maye said. "We can't relax if we're up. It's definitely a learning process."
Florida has also had a recent issue with early start times.
Kickoff against Vanderbilt is at 11 a.m. local time, but McElwain is keeping his Gators on Eastern time to help them be ready for their earliest kickoff this season. McElwain has reason to worry about his Gators kicking off at noon after struggling in three such games last season.
"I don't know what it is with noon starts a year ago, we were FAU, Vanderbilt and the bowl game, which none of those results were very good," McElwain said. "So I think let's talk about the obvious, I've got no problem with that. We've got to make sure we're ready to go play against a team that obviously has some weapons."