Line Focusing on Communication

When the Gators needed a few yards for a first down against Bowling Green, it wasn't there. Starting left guard James Wilson blamed it on the communication. The offensive line sometimes got confused between who to block, and the holes weren't there for the Florida running game. Communication will be even tougher this weekend in front of a hostile crowd in College Station.

"It's just about simulating the crowd noise," James Wilson said. "That's mainly it. You've got to be able to communicate through the crowd noise and do away with a lot of the penalties we had last week."

Florida coach Will Muschamp has coached one game at Kyle Field when he was the defensive coordinator at Texas. Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease said that he coached twice at Kyle Field as the offensive coordinator for Baylor. Both commented on how loud the stadium can be and have spent the week preparing the team for it.

That experience at Texas A&M is helping the Florida players know what to expect. However, no one at Florida or Texas A&M really knows what to expect this weekend. It's a unique weekend with the Aggies playing their first game under head coach Kevin Sumlin and the first as a member of the SEC.

"We saw the 12th Man and all that just to get our minds right for what we're going into," Wilson said. "It's really no different from here. We've got loud fans. They've got loud fans."

Wilson said the Gators spent fall camp using a "big ol' speaker" that was blaring music during warm ups and simulating crowd noise during the scrimmage portions of practice. Wilson said starting quarterback Jeff Driskel should "be fine" and will be able to command the huddle in that situation.

The game also gives Florida an opportunity to welcome the Aggies to the SEC. That could mean a lot of things, but Wilson has one way to welcome them in mind.

"To win," Wilson said before laughing. "Just to show them that we're still Florida and we're still here."

The Gators have the advantage of correcting their communication errors that came up against Bowling Green. That doesn't exist for Texas A&M. The Aggies will go through their first game jitters this Saturday after Hurricane Isaac postponed their season opener.

"It definitely helps us have a game under our belt to correct things we need to correct," Wilson said. "That's our advantage. They're going to come out fired up, and we'll be ready to answer back."

The problems for Florida came in moving the Falcons defense in short yardage situations. The Gators secured a first down after just one of their eight plays of 3rd and 2 or shorter situations.

"We know we can move people," Wilson said. "We know if anybody wants to muscle up with us, we're ready. It's just about working together and getting the calls right for this Saturday. That's the main thing."

They'll have a tough matchup this weekend. Texas A&M led the country in sacks during the 2011 season, and the Gators have spent the week of practice preparing for how to pick up blitzes.

The Gators have watched Texas A&M film to see their defensive personnel, but first-year defensive coordinator Mark Snyder previously held the same position at South Florida. They've also done some scouting on the schemes the Bulls ran on defense last year.

The Gators weren't pretty in the season opener, but Wilson thinks that will change this weekend in College Station.

"I'm happy with where we are," Wilson said. "We're correcting everything we had troubles with on Saturday. I don't see anything but going up from here on out."


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