Run till it hurts…
The Bowling Green defense was one of the worst in the country in 2011 vs. the run allowing over 200 yards per game. The Florida Gators offense averaged a mere 143 yards a game on the ground checking in at 73rd last season. With more emphasis on a downhill run game expect coach Pease and company to get out to a fast start on Saturday afternoon to the tune of 250 plus rushing yards on the day. The combination of Mike Gillislee, Mack Brown, Trey Burton, Chris Johnson, Jeff Driskel, Omarius Hines and the occasional Hunter Joyer will have their way with the Bowling Green front seven on Saturday. The only way the Gators dont break the 250 yard mark is if the game is cancelled.
Mack Brown (left) and Mike Gillislee will run hard on Saturday
Six-pack on ice…
The Gator defense finished last season ranked near the bottom of the league is sacks but that was last year. Enter Neiron Ball, Dante Fowler and a host of hungry Gators looking to get after the quarterback this season. Bowling Green will give coach Muschamp and crew plenty of opportunities on Saturday afternoon to show what the new and improved pass rush will look like this season. Expect the Gator defense to register six sacks this weekend even without returning sack leader Ronald Powell sidelined due to injury. The Gators finished all of last season with only 28 sacks on the season.
This Gator D takes what it wants…
The Florida Gators scored only 59 combined fourth quarter points all of last season while allowing 86. It was the only quarter the Gators were outscored and unfortunately for Will Muschamp the most important quarter of the game. This team with added depth, strength and the addition of new strength and conditioning coach Jeff Dillman will look drastically different in 2012 and it starts up front on Saturday afternoon vs. Bowling Green. With tired defenders late in games often times Dan Quinn's crew found themselves reaching for the ball instead of making solid tackles and bone rattling hits. That will not be the case this season and in particular vs. Bowling Green. Coach Muschamp found his team dead last in turnovers in the SEC at .92 turnovers lost per game. Bowling Green was even worse at -1.08 per game so something's going to give. Expect to see the Gator defenders +4 on the day in the turnover battle.
FROM THE DESK OF BOB REDMAN
Freshman nightmare Ends…
To piggy back on what Jason wrote, I believe the Gators will pick up the slack when it comes to sacks. One reason I am confident in this is the freshmen on campus that will eventually terrorize opposing teams' backfields. I am going to go more on the individual players themselves and say that BUCK Dante Fowler and defensive end Jonathan Bullard, two of the more prized prospects in the 2012 class, will combine for at least eight tackles and two sacks on Saturday.
Jonathan Bullard and Dante Fowler will be a formidable duo
A star is born?
While I don't think it will be something that may directly correlate to how the rest of the season will go for him, I think one player may have his breakout game. I look for receiver Solomon Patton to have over 100 yards of offense on the day be it running or catching the ball. He is a guy that we don't hear much of but he is healthier to start this season and probably the fastest wide receiver on the field and the speed is a real mismatch for the Falcons.
Glue hands Jenkins
Another year in the same defensive scheme and Jelani Jenkins will be doing things much quicker and without having to think about it. He dropped a few interceptions a year ago when he had to turn around at the last second and this year he is going to have time to watch the ball in and take off with it. My bold prediction here is that Jelani Jenkins intercepts two passes on Saturday.