Florida didn’t shock and awe in its pedestrian 24-7 win over UMass but never doubt that its roster isn’t stocked full of NFL prospects. This post will cover its depth chart and statistic comparison with the Cats. As a bonus we’ll throw in a “How the Cats win” and “How the Cats lose” segment:
Florida’s strengths lie within its defense and special teams. The Gator’s offense struggled mightily down the stretch a year ago and didn’t exactly torch the turf last Saturday against UMass. Jim McElwain lamented about his offensive line playing without energy. Expect a dialed in group of big fellas on Saturday as it blocks for three power backs: Mike Thompson (6’2 242), Jordan Scarlett (5’11 198), and Jordan Cronkite (5’11 205).
A significantly large portion of 2015’s offensive woes were a byproduct of ineffective quarterback play. It appears that the twice-transferred QB Luke Del Rio may be the solution. Del Rio’s numbers against UMass: 29-44, 256 yards and 2 TD’s. His backup is another transfer, Austin Appleby.
Antonio Calloway leads a fast yet recently underutilized receiving corps. Calloway led the team in receptions with 8; Brandon Powell registered 7 as both scored a touchdown in the season opener. Del Rio will also heavily rely on tight end DeAndre Goolsby as the Gators trended towards possession routes instead of focusing on the home run. That theory was proven through Del Rio’s low yards-per-attempt average of 5.8 yards.
Florida has one of the best defenses in college football. Its led by three Phil Steele All Americans: cornerback Jalen Tabor, linebacker Jarrad Davis, and safety Marcus Maye. Highly dangerous sophomore pass rusher CeCe Jefferson is joined by Bryan Cox Jr, Caleb Brantley, Joey Ivey, and Jabari Zuniga on the defensive front. The redshirt freshman Zuniga led the defensive charge with 2 QB sacks and 2 tackles for loss last Saturday.
FLORIDA DEPTH CHART
The Cats will fly south with hopes of breaking an embarrassing losing streak. It will also need to overcome the recent memory of a heartbreaking and unfathomable home loss to Southern Miss. The Cats can’t afford to lose to USM twice. In actuality, the Southern Miss offense is more threatening than what it will see in the Swamp. But on the other side of the ball Drew Barker and company will face a grave test as they go against the first of five nationally ranked defenses on the 2016 schedule.
HOW UK WINS
Slow the run, tackle, and play four full quarters of offense.
HOW UK LOSES
Don’t slow the run, miss tackles, and play only two quarters of offense.
Simple scouting report.