Billy Napier needs patience in Gainesville to rebuild the Florida program and brand, but losing to Vanderbilt is a great way to make fans lose patience. Losing to Georgia or Tennessee in Year 1 is one thing. Losing to Vanderbilt is a whole other ballgame as the Florida head coach. That’s no disrespect to the Commodores. That’s the floor at Florida.

That’s what happened Saturday, as the Gators dropped the road game in Nashville 31-24 — the first home Vandy win against Florida since 1988.

Over the last few weeks, Florida’s offense has been blazing. Anthony Richardson has been developing nicely as the Gators quarterback, and Napier’s offense has been demolishing teams with the running game.

And then Saturday’s setback happened.

In the 41-24 win over Texas A&M 2 weeks ago, Richardson carried 7 times for 78 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. That helped open the passing game for Richardson to throw for 2 touchdowns.

Last week in the win over South Carolina, Richardson carried 15 times for 96 yards and a touchdown. Florida nearly had 3 runners with more than 100 yards rushing.

Saturday — Richardson had just 4 carries and 25 rushing yards, with 15 of those coming on the only quarterback scramble late in the game, and Florida came out of Nashville with a loss ahead of playing rival Florida State. Richardson did have 392 passing yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. Most of that came in the second half when Florida’s offense had to play catchup.

Florida continues to take 2 steps forward and, Saturday, 3 steps back. It’s unclear what kind of game-plan Napier and the offense had Saturday with Richardson. Neglecting to use your biggest weapon’s best asset — his legs — is head-scratching.

The Gators ended up with just 45 rushing yards Saturday.

Florida fans reacted accordingly on social media, too.