Florida (4-4, 2-4 SEC) returns home for the first time since Oct. 1, trying to end a four-game losing streak on homecoming in what is essentially a must-win. The Gators haven't lost to Vanderbilt (4-4, 1-4) since 1988 (coincidentally, the year of UF's last four-game losing streak) and need a win to help their efforts to become bowl eligible with six wins with four games left in the regular season.
Antonya English, Times staff writer
Florida vs. Vanderbilt, 12:20 p.m., Ch. 38, 620-AM
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The Gators trying to answer their many questions: Will RB Chris Rainey, left, be healthy? Can Florida get its running game going? Can the Gators cut down on their penalties? Florida is the most penalized team in Division I-A, and the mistakes compound the offensive woes. The Gators will have starting QB John Brantley back close to full speed this week, which means his mobility will have improved and the Gators can operate more under center than last week against Georgia. But if Rainey's injured ankle is a problem, UF's already-anemic running game might get worse, which could pose problems since Vanderbilt has the No. 4 rushing defense in the SEC, allowing just 125 yards per game. The Gators have rushed for 175 total yards in the past four games, or 43.7 yards per game, and the offense has scored all of three touchdowns.