Should Urban Meyer, Florida Gators Fear the USF Bulls?
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The Florida Gators were fortunate to be staring down Miami of Ohio last week, when they put together a much-maligned performance against the Redhawks, who went 1-11 just a year ago.
Sure, a win is a win, but unlike last season, the Gators will be staring down a much tougher test in Week Two, when the South Florida Bulls come to town. Something tells me they will give the Gators a little bit more trouble than Troy did last season.
The big question is after a very suspect performance last week, should the Gators be worried heading into the matchup against the Bulls?
If the offense plays as poorly as it did last week, then that answer is a definite yes. You would think the offense should make a big leap this week, and the snap problems will be corrected. They'd better, or USF will give the Gators some serious fits this weekend.
All you have to do is ask Florida State what happens when you don't take little brother USF seriously. The Bulls dominated the Noles last season in a 17-7 victory that was much worse than the score indicated.
Of course, comparing those teams' talent levels doesn't create the best example, by any means, but it will be a true test of how great the Gators sense of urgency truly is after last week.
The good news is that Frankie Hammond and, potentially, Andre Debose will bring some much needed help to the wide receiving corps this weekend. Stephen Alli and his 6'6" frame might also make an appearance, and that can only help matters.
The biggest reason to be worried might be the offensive line, though. The Gators are expected to get Xavier Nixon and Carl Johnson back this week, which will certainly help, but Steve Addazio said the Gators will not shuffle the lineup around to get Nixon back at left tackle, at least not initially. This is just a hunch, but that points to Nixon not being fully recovered yet.
Either way, with another week of practice, the line should definitely be improved. The Gators will certainly need it going against Mark Snyder's defense. Although the Bulls didn't show much against Stony Brook last week (who would?), the former Buckeyes defensive coordinator has traditionally run a heavy dose of zone blitzing, which could complicate things for a line still transitioning back to full strength.
If the line does its job, then John Brantley should have no problems picking apart USF's secondary, which is one of the team's biggest weak spots. That would require a much better performance from the wide receiving corps, but the returnees should definitely help the cause.
On defense, the Gators' new-look unit will be facing an early test against B.J. Daniels, who is developing into a nice pass-first signal caller for the Bulls. But, it is his feet that might make the Gators worry a little bit.
The Gators defensive line played well, particularly Jaye Howard, last week, but that was against one of college football's worst rushing teams in the nation. This will be a good barometer for how they can control the line of scrimmage and limit Daniels from taking over the game. Obviously, one week and Miami of Ohio later, this unit is still very much untested.
As you can see, a lot of the worries surrounding the Gators involve a lot of unknown factors, along with those pesky snap mechanics.
Ultimately, all opinions of the Gators are based off of one game, and although it was an inferior opponent, there is nowhere to go but up for this team.
USF will certainly cause the Gators a few problems and concerns, but all solid opponents should do that to some extent.
Gators fans should be a little bit worried, but excited at the possibilities that all of that talent has when it finally clicks.
The good news is that last week's performance was a big wake-up call, and one that came without an L attached to it.
As far as early season games go, USF is as good a test as any, and this will show just how much the Gators have woken up. If the alarm clock hasn't sounded by Saturday, then it might be time to start worrying.
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