Florida Football: What to Look for in the Gators' Spring Game
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It's a big year in Gainesville, and Florida fans will get to see how the team looks this weekend when the Gators hosts the annual Orange and Blue Debut at 1:00 p.m. ET at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Head coach Will Muschamp has limited the flow of information out of practice since arriving in Gainesville before the 2011 season, but Saturday will provide a glimpse at what's going on in Gator-land.
What should fans look for? Here are a few keys:
Who's going to win the quarterback job?
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Sophomores Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett are neck-and-neck for the top spot on the depth chart, but Muschamp and offensive coordinator Brent Pease haven't given any indication of a true leader.
Driskel has the ability to be more of a duel-threat, while Brissett is more of a traditional drop-back passer. Both players saw playing time last season in place of injured starter John Brantley, so familiarity with the SEC shouldn't be an issue.
The top performer on Saturday will likely be the leader in the clubhouse, and that's a good place to be with three months to go before fall camp.
Can Gillislee handle the load?
Florida has been without an inside running back since quarterback Tim Tebow acted as the team's between-the-tackles runner. However, Pease has stated that he wants to have a power running game, and senior Mike Gillislee has established himself as the top back on the depth chart this spring.
Gillislee has only rushed 10 or more times in a game once during his career; and despite the light work load, he has been banged-up throughout his career. He will have to be durable in 2012, because one thing we know about Florida is that it can't succeed without an inside running game.
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Can the defense force turnovers?
In 2011, the Gators finished last in the SEC in fumble recoveries (six), interceptions (eight) and turnover margin (minus-0.92). With an offense that's average at best, defense needs to help out and put the offense in better positions to succeed.
What's the offense going to look like?
Florida still have plenty of players that were recruited to run Urban Meyer's spread, but Pease is set on running as much of the pro-style as possible. He's going to be more flexible than his predecessor Charlie Weis, but we don't know what the offense will look like just yet.
It's doubtful that the Gators will give away too much, but they have to show something.
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