Hollywood & Higdon Bold Game Week Predictions

This is our weekly segment with two of our writers from FightinGators.com bringing you their bold predictions on what will happen during the game this week. The Gators take on the Blazers of the University of Alabama Birmingham on Saturday and it should prove a bigger test than last week against FAU. Jason Higdon and Bob Redman go "bold" in telling you what they think will happen in the contest.

We'll step right into it with Florida's next opponent, the UAB Blazers.

From the desk of Jason Higdon:

The Gators will break the 50-poing mark on Saturday vs. UAB.

I missed this last week as the Gators ended the night with 41 points. Florida had three turnovers but also scored a special teams touchdown. This week they will eclipse the 50-point mark against UAB. Brantley throws for two touchdowns, Driskel one and both Rainey and Demps will have two touchdown's each giving the Gators 49 points. Sturgis will bang in two field goals pushing the point total to 55. Final score Gators 55 UAB 17.

How many picks?

UAB will present a different challenge for the Gators defense as Ellis will look to spread them out in 4-5 wide sets. Ellis, a 6'2 205 pound 22 year old senior from Byron (GA) has poise and will try to exploit the young Gator secondary early and often. He ended last season with just under 3,000 yards and 25 touchdowns to only three interception's on the year. Unfortunately for Ellis he will match his season total of three interceptions in this year's opener. Roberson, Bostic and Elam will all have their first pick of the 2012 season in large part to the amount of pressure the front four will bring.

Receivers will step up

For this argument let me list wide receivers and non-wide receivers as we break down their catches week one. Deonte Thompson (3), Andre Debose (3), Frankie Hammond (2), Quinton Dunbar(2) and Solomon Patton (2) are the wide receivers. The non-wide receiver group looks like this… Chris Rainey (6), Jeff Demps (3), Jordan Reed (2), Trey Burton (1) and Gerald Christian (1) for a total of 13 receptions. Against FAU last week the Gators completed 25 balls on the night, 21 by Brantley and 4 by Jeff Driskel. Wide receivers caught 12 of the 25 pass completions on the night.

All four of Jeff Driskel's pass completions went to wide receivers with two each by Andre Debose and Solomon Patton. This means 13 of John Brantley's 21 completions vs. FAU went to non-wide receivers on the night or over 60%. This week I really look for Brantley and Weis to open it up and give the wide receiver group a chance to make some plays in the passing game. Brantley had only 8 completions to wide receivers last week but this week look for that number to jump to over 16 on the night.

From the desk of Hollywood Bob Redman:

Six sacks on the night

I called it last week with two sacks, but mainly because FAU was such a rushing team and I didn't think Florida would have much of an opportunity to get those sacks. This week it should be totally different. Even though it is a new staff, Bryan Ellis comes in as a guy that threw for almost 3000 yards in just nine games a year ago as the starter. He is missing most of his receiver corps, but they will likely throw it around a lot anyway. That should mean the guys up front will be licking their chops to get to him and I see them getting six sacks this week.

Backs will double up on 100 yard games

This is something that Jason went with a week ago, but I see Demps and Rainey both hitting the 100 yard mark this week. We all know what they can do, but the Blazers' defensive line has a total of seven starts among the four starters and all come from 6-5, 250 pound defensive end Conner Boyett. They have an experienced linebacker corps, but I see Florida man handling a defensive line with the two tackles only hitting the 275 pound mark. Fullback Hunter Joyer will have to have a big game for me to hit the double 100 mark, but I think it will happen.

Defense holds UAB to under 60 yards rushing

All things combined, this seems like the most realistic thing of the day. If the sacks come it will detract from the rushing total. If they throw the ball a lot, it means they aren't rushing. Pat Shed ran for 847 yards a year ago, he has been injured and currently not listed on the depth chart for the game. However, they have been curiously quiet about his return. If healthy, he is talented, but they also throw to him as well meaning less yards rushing... I will stick to the less than 60 yards for the UAB rushing game.


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