Will Muschamp has plenty to worry about in his first game against Florida Atlantic. He is a college head coach for the first time. He is walking in the foot steps of Urban Meyer and Steve Spurrier. Florida fans are quite passionate about their team, and despite lowered expectations, this season will be no different.
In their first action under the new regime, the Gators need to be prepared for anything. FAU will certainly bring its best when it faces off with the Gators.
Beyond the final score, Muschamp has plenty of things to worry about.
The biggest issue last season, as far as John Brantley was concerned, was Urban Meyer ran the spread offense. He was most comfortable under center.
Brantley is not the runner that Tim Tebow and Alex Smith were. He is not good at making plays on the fly.
Charlie Weis knows this and is the perfect person to fix this. Weis is the former Patriots' offensive coordinator who has worked with Tom Brady, Matt Cassell and Jimmy Clausen. All three quarterbacks excelled under Weis.
If Brantley looks sharp, much will be attributed to Weis. Muschamp may need to take a large portion of the credit by bringing him in.
It's cliche, but teams that are playing opponents who are not quite in their league can easily overlook their "inferior" opponent. This could be one of those times.
The Gators have plenty to work on. Muschamp installed new schemes on both sides of the ball, and execution was not exactly perfect last year—and that was with systems they were used to.
There are plenty of examples of teams taking another team for granted. The one that comes most to mind is Appalachian State and Michigan. That is no way to start your head coaching career.
Ronald Powell is being touted as the next great defensive stud from the Florida program.
He looked good at times last year, but was largely a non-factor. This year he will be a key part of the Gators' defensive plans.
Powell possesses the size and skill to be a dominant pass rusher, something the Gators sorely needed last season. If he can progress and show his skills like he did against Appalachian State last year, Powell will be a force to be reckoned with.
The offensive line struggled last season due to injuries and constant turmoil. Everyone appears healthy heading into the first week of the season, and the Gators should have some real consistency up front.
The key to any offense is a strong offensive line is consistency. In college football especially, teams that have constant turnover never get a true rhythm.
It is expected that, in college football, there will be turnover, though. Players only have four years of eligibility. To be constantly shuffling players in and out of the lineup last year like the Gators did just leads to problems. With everyone healthy, Muschamp should look to keep the linemen in for about three quarters (barring a close game) to see what the Gators really have up front.
Muschamp has three running backs who could easily start for any team in the country in Jeff Demps, Trey Burton and Mack Brown.
The FAU defense should not be able to control the Gators by any stretch of the imagination, but seeing how these three do should be something worth watching.
All should have solid games, but how Muschamp and Weis manage them will prove to be just as important as their production. Taking a running back out for long periods can disrupt their flow in the game. It will be curious to watch how they manage this.
It's one thing to be responsible for one part of the football game. Sure, coordinators have to pay attention to everything that happens on the field, but they ultimately don't have that responsibility.
In his first real shot at this, Muschamp needs to make sure he has everything under control. While he might have been the coach-in-waiting in Texas, the season never fell directly on his shoulders.
Now it does.
He needs to make sure he remains composed, even when things go bad and especially if the game becomes one-sided. The Gators need to learn to be a winner rather than just be a winner.