College football is finally upon us ! Everyone take a quick 5 minutes to rejoice in that thought and envision the greatness and agony that awaits in the next 13 to 14 saturdays.
It’s time to inform the wifey (or significant other) that Saturdays are no longer shopping days or “quality” or “family” time together…unless of course the family has a vested interest in the wacky world that is college football. Let her know in advance that the TV is off limits to her between noon and midnight on Saturdays… unless she wants to tune in of course, and oh yeah, remind her to keep her friends’ visitation rights restricted, the phone chatter away from the living room and the beer flowing.
Now back to the first game of the year. Florida vs Miami (no not the good Miami rather the Ohio Miami) at noon on ESPN this Saturday. Do not expect this one to be remotely competitive after the first half. With all due respect to the MAC rival, a team that has won 3 games in 2 years, they pose absolutely no challenge to the juggernaut that is the Urban Meyer Program. The -35 line for Florida sounds about right. Miami OH will serve as the sparring partner for the purebred fighter preparing himself for championship fights down the road. This is more of a scrimmage than an actual game.
Florida will want to maximize QB John Brantley’s game time experience so he will play well into the second half. They will want to find out who their playmakers are at the skill positions so several players will get looks at 1-2 WR and slot position. I expect many starters to play in limited fashion, especially on the O-line, and for freshman to get in on the action. The Gators will have 16 freshmen listed on their game day depth chart and Meyer expects many to contribute.
Gators fans will be content if they see an improved passing game and some flash from the receiving corps. The final score will not matter as much as how the offense conducts itself in the post Tebow era. The focus of scrutiny will be on the offensive gamplan, where most Gators fans expect the O.C., Steve Addazio, to open things up a bit and unleash the playmakers. Florida could see some big plays from a host of players (WRs: Deonte Thompson, Omarius Hines, Chris Rainey, RBs: Jeff Demps, Immanuel Moody, Mike Gilleslee) but I hope and expect that redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose will have a big game in his first game as a Gator.
5th year senior Marcus Gilbert (6’5 320lbs) will move over to the LT position in the absence of the 2 deep starters (Xavier Nixon and Matt Patchan). Senior DT Terron Sanders is out with a sprained knee and starting TE Jordan Reed is also probably out with a bruised knee.
SR Mike Pouncey took some time to clear up any misconception regarding the supposed feud with the freshmen last week. Yesterday he said,
“I wasn’t calling them out to separate this team, because they’re all great players. They responded well. They’re doing what they got to do, and we’re all one team…They understand, we came here as Gators, and we’re going to leave as Gators. I didn’t mean to separate them—I know it came out that way—but I love all those guys, and I’m going to respect them and they’re going to respect me, and at the end of the day, we’re going to win games.”
Prediction: Final score Florida 48 – Miami OH 7
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Written by The Gator Great