Florida-Troy: Don't Sleep on These Trojans

Michael OleszekAnalyst ISeptember 7, 2009

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 05:  Riley Cooper #11 of the Florida Gators runs for yardage during the game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 5, 2009 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

No. 1 Florida Gators (1-0) vs. Troy Trojans (0-1) Game Preview

What Happened Last Week

Florida opened its 2009 season the same way it ended their 2008 season—with a win.

The game was over before halftime, and the starters were pulled to preserve their health. The Gators even had a chance to play some players who normally wouldn't get the chance to play against the LSUs and Georgias of the world.

Troy, on the other hand, started 2009 on a down note, losing to one of Urban Meyer's former teams. The Bowling Green Falcons defeated the Trojans, 31-14. Troy led at the half 14-7, but faltered down the stretch, going a dismal one of seven on third down and any hope of a comeback came to an end on a 64-yard interception return for a touchdown by Adrien Spencer.


What to Watch For

Don't Expect Troy To Be Intimidated

The Troy Trojans are a veteran team. There are 29 seniors on the roster, and in their four years as Trojans, they have played at a variety of BCS Schools including: Florida, LSU, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida State, Georgia, and Nebraska. Those are some big time programs with big time venues to play in. Troy has been competitive in some of these games, and nearly pulled off an upset at LSU last November.


The Gator Defense To Get a Boost

The Gator defense wasn't as dominant as it could have been Saturday night, and there were a few reasons why. Janoris Jenkins and Dustin Doe didn't play because of suspension, and Jermaine Cunningham wasn't "ready to play" Saturday night, according to reports. Those three players returning to a defense that will see a better offense this week gives the Gators a better personnel group with them on the field.


A Few More Wrinkles on Offense for UF

I-formation? Joe Haden in the Wildcat? A second carry for Chris Rainey? All of these things were non-existent Saturday, as the Gators kept the game plan pretty basic to overrun Charleston Southern. Florida could have stuck with the zone read as their only running play and they still would have rushed for over 300 yards. This week, they will face a much better defense, with a good pass rusher in Brandon Lang. The Gators will need to open the playbook up a little bit more than they did on Saturday.


Expect Florida To Start the Game Strong

This is not the week to get complacent. Again, the Gators need to come out of the starting gate with the throttle pushed to the floor, just as they did with Charleston Southern. There cannot be any sleepwalking through this game with Troy, and then expect to suddenly turn up the volume when things aren't going well. The game for which most Gators have been waiting is still two weeks away, when Lane Kiffin and his Tennessee Volunteers visit Gainesville. Troy is a little bit better than just some other placeholder on the schedule, and the Gators need to realize that immediately.


Game Prediction: No. 1 Florida Gators 49, Troy Trojans 14