Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (The Swamp)
When: Saturday August 31, 2013; 12:21 pm Eastern
The Rockets Offense…
All of Toledo's skill position start¬ers are back in 2012. Returning at quarterback is Terrance Owens (Sr. 6-4 205). Owens has started at least three games every season since his freshman year. As a junior, he completed 61.4% of his passes for 2,705 yards and 14 TDs. David Fluellen (Sr., 6-0, 215) (1,498 yards, 13 TDs) returns at running back after rushing for 1,498yards and 13 touchdowns in 2012. Top re¬turners at wide receiver include senior Bernard Reedy (Sr., 5-9, 175) (88 receptions, six TDs) and sophomore Alonzo Russell (56 catches, five TDs).
The Rockets implore a spread offense and quick passing game. Owens won't be holding on to the ball long and gets it to his receivers to do the damage.
Quick Note: Former St. Petersburg (FL) lakewood receiver Rodney Adams is a true freshman and listed second team as the season opens. Adams was committed to Florida early in the process before dropping the commitment and eventually signing with the Rockets.
The Rockets Defense…
It is a totally different story on defense. While the offense was lighting up the scoreboard at a 31.5 points per game rate, the defense was doing the same allowing 28.4 points per game and a whopping 473.2 yards per game. The Rockets need a lot more from their defense in 2013 and are going to be counting on a ton of young talent to do so.
Fourteen freshmen and sophomores take up the 22 spots on the two-deep on defense.
Up front, defensive ends Jayrone Elliott (Sr., 6-3, 240) and Christian Smith (Sr., 6-2, 260) are needed to step up and be the players they were expected to be early in their careers. Elliott had a pretty good six sacks last season but finished with only 18 tackles. Smith had 17 tackles and a sack before ending his season in the seventh game with a knee injury. The Rockets are really pushing defensive end Marquise Moore (Fr., 6-1, 289) who is in his first year on campus and should actually start on Saturday.
Trent Voss (So., 6-3, 220) is the Rocket's leader at linebacker and started the last two games a year ago. He finished with 47 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2012.
The secondary in 2012 was porous at best and loses three starters. The best of the unit returns in cornerback Cheatham Norrils (Jr., 6-0, 195) is the leading returning tackler with 74 in 2012.
The bottom line on defense is that every team passed for 200 or more yards on the Rockets in 2012 and they don't look to improve on that number.
The Rockets Special Teams…
Jeremiah Detmer hit a solid 25 of 29 field goals in 2012 including his last 17 of the season. Detmer is accurate to about 45 yards. Vince Penza (Sr., 6-1, 201) averaged a solid but not spectacular 40.5 yards per punt and landed 21 kicks inside the 20-yard line.
The Gators would do well to stay away from Bernard Reedy who is a superior return man averaging 11.1 yards per punt return while taking one for a score, and coming up with three scores on kickoff returns averaging 27.7 yards a shot.
Here is our week of coverage in the wake of the home opener.
Toledo offense has Florida's attention
Driskel using his weapons wisely
Transfers with huge roles on UF's OLine
Audio: Gators and More with Hollywood Bob
Pease excited to see Robinson
The return of Powell
Watkins could play everywhere
Muschamp teleconference transcript
Notebook: Gators prepare for tempo
Morrison apologizes for arrests
Easley: Leaving his mark
Week one recruiting visitors
Linebackers will be ready
Patton excited to be back