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Florida Preview

To say that Florida is going to be a difficult game is an understatement. I don't think one can properly express just how much trouble we're going to have on our hands. We need heroic days from Jevaughn (he's black, right?), Greg, Pierre Jerry (so says Nutt), and a corner. It wouldn't hurt to have Michael Crichton develop a velociraptor to come play linebacker for us.

Superman wears Tim Tebow pajamas. Tebow runs like Mike Alstott and throws the ball as well as Chris Leake did. While Tebow probably isn't even as fast as BenJarvus Green-Ellis, he's such a smart and powerful runner that defenses basically have to prepare for the "Wild Tebow" on every play. I don't think I have to say much more. I'll just say this. Tony Fein needs to play a lot. I want someone at middle linebacker who has a chance to intimidate Tebow. I know he's never intimidated, but I want Fein to tackle him repeatedly with helmet to throwing elbow. That's the only way we have any chance whatsoever.

Running back is a tough situation to talk about regarding Florida. They don't exactly have a traditional running back. I guess that Chris Rainey is the closest thing that Florida has to a real running back, but through three games, he has 18 carries. Tebow has 34. Percy Harvin is also a threat at running back with his elite speed. It's not like we'll see Florida come out in the I very often though. This is all about the "Sproption", sweeps, and reverses. It's one of those offenses that we all used to say would never work in the SEC. I guess we were wrong.

Florida's receivers are as dominant as always. Percy Harvin only has three catches on the season, but don't let that fool you. Harvin is going to have a field day against us. Senior Louis Murphy is their leading receiver on the season with eight catches for 146 yards. Murphy is 6'3", so he will present a matchup problem, but you have to realize that Florida is going to throw the ball to 6 or 7 different players. That means that while Cassius Vaughn, Marshay Green, and Dustin Mouzon have important days ahead of them, Marcus Temple and Derrick Herrrmannnn (sic) have more important days because they're our nickel corners. That's bad news for us. I hope that we see some sets where Marshay, Cassius, and Dustin are on the field at the same time, because that may be the only way that we can try to contain Florida's third receiver.

Florida's defense is probably better than their offense, a scary thought for a team with a returning Heisman winner at QB. Florida is allowing 6.3 ppg. They gave up a whopping three points to Miami and stumbled a bit against Tennessee... giving up SIX points.

Defensive ends Carlos Dunlap and Jermaine Cunningham are a formidable force coming off the ends with two sacks each in limited action. Defensive Tackle Lawrence Marsh had two sacks in Florida's opener vs. Hawaii and is a good combination of size and speed. Florida is also quite deep on the defensive line with pass rushers for days. I remember distinctly Jarvis Moss' one million sacks against Troy Smith in the national championship two years ago. I hope neither of these ends is like that, but I worry that they are.

The key to Florida's defense is Brandon Spikes. The junior linebacker didn't play against Hawaii and still leads the team in tackles having led each of the past two contests. AJ Jones is another linebacker to watch out for as he has shown up for all three of Florida's games with intensity and effort (and no, he's not a white wide receiver). Brandon Bolden may be less effective this week with such sure-tackling, talented linebackers swarming to the ball. I hope to see a good number of snaps to Devin Thomas and Enrique since I believe they have a little bit more elusiveness than Bolden (who is a fantastic physical back).

In the secondary, Florida brings significant troubles to the rebels. While defending the pass was ultimately Florida's downfall last season, it is a strength this year with a great pass rush and experience all around at defensive back. Florida returns all four starters in the defensive backfield, and they're all good. Joe Haden is a corner with excellent coverage skills, and receivers go down when he tackles them. CB Wondy Pierre-Louis (I promise I didn't make that name up) played poorly against Tennessee, allowing the Vols to complete a few passes that later proved insignificant. If there's a player that needs to be replaced, it's Pierre-Louis. Safety Major Wright is a debilitating hitter at 200 pounds. This could spell trouble for Shay Hodge going across the middle on third downs and will be a lot of trouble for Dexter's confidence. All in all, Florida's secondary is not what Jevan needs to deal with at this point in the season. After a four interception day, I wish we were playing ULM this week.

My prediction: Florida by 13.

What's yours?