Toledo offense has Florida's attention

The film has shown the Florida defense all it needs to know about what it will face against Toledo this weekend. The Gators have to be ready to run. The Rockets want to snap the ball as fast as possible, trying to keep the defense from getting a chance to breathe or substitute. It's tough to replicate in practice, but Florida knows what it will see on Saturday.

"They're on the ball. They snap it quick," Florida head coach Will Muschamp said. "They get off a lot of snaps. They're a team that wants to snap it about 80 times a game."

The goal for the Florida defense isn't much different than it is most weeks. They want to force three-and-outs. However, the reasoning is different. If the Gators can force Toledo into a three-and-out, the up-tempo style will keep the Rockets' defense from getting a breather on the sideline.

In the low-90 degree temperatures expected in Gainesville on Saturday, the Gators are hoping to keep the Toledo defense on the field.

"The issue they pose is tempo, and then I think they're a very talented unit," Muschamp said.

The offensive unit possesses plenty of other problems. The Rockets return their quarterback, running back and top receivers from last year's team. They know the scheme and tempo of the offense and run it well because of the experience.

"I think (Bernard) Reedy is as good of a slot receiver as we'll see this season," Muschamp said. "(David) Fluellen is a guy that rushed for over 1,000 yards and runs the ball hard. I think they give you a lot of run-pass conflicts as far as what they do in the zone game and then the vertical throwing down the field.

"They get the ball out quick on the screen game. I just think they're very effective in what they do."

The strength is also up front. Muschamp said that NFL scouts he knows how told him that Toledo center Zac Kerin is projected to be selected in the top three rounds of this year's NFL Draft. He could present trouble for Florida's interior linemen.

"He's really good," Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley said. "He's tall, big. He has size."

The Rockets went 9-4 last season and will face a Southeastern Conference team for the first time in school history on Saturday. Muschamp noted that their offense averaged "around 450 yards a game" last year.

The Gators have won 23 straight season-opening games, the second-longest streak in the country behind Nebraska's 27.

KICKER BATTLE IS OVER: Florida kicker Austin Hardin has officially won the kicker job. The redshirt freshman didn't kick much last fall because of an injury, but he had a strong offseason. Senior Brad Phillips was limited in the fall with an injury, meaning Hardin was the only healthy kicker at some points of fall camp, and he earned the job.

"Austin sort of distanced himself as a kickoff guy and the placekicking duties," Muschamp said. "Brad is a guy who has been in the game before and done it when the lights were on, so that's something we're going to work through during the season."?

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