Florida staff preparing with plenty of film

The Gators are facing their third team in a row with a new coaching staff, which always makes preparation more difficult. It starts in the offseason when the coaches spend time watching film so that game week is easier. Preparing for Arkansas has been a unique challenge. The Florida coaching staff had to get creative and watch extra film in preparation for the Razorbacks.

The scheme is much different than what Arkansas did last year. However, the Florida coaches still spent plenty of time watching film of last year's Razorbacks to scout the team's personnel. They'll find some weaknesses and strengths of the players while pinpointing the ones they need to be most worried about.

For scheme, the coaches watch three different teams. They'll spend time watching Arkansas' first five games this season, trying to get a good idea of the scheme that the offensive staff is using in Fayetteville. For background information, the coaches will plug in tape from Bielema's offense last season at Wisconsin.

It doesn't end there. First-year Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney was calling plays at Tennessee last season, and he's now doing that for the Razorbacks. Because of that, the Florida coaches had to go back through their Tennessee tape from last season to pick up any tendencies in play calling.

"You kind of try and get an idea of how they've meshed things together and what they're looking to do," Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said. "When you start pulling from different aspects, you put a little more time into that with looking into other things. We're planning we spend that time in the offseason making notes and studying different things, so when you get to that game week, you've got at least a core of thing written down of what you've seen and what you may want to do."

The film on Arkansas doesn't show many secrets. They want to run the football and impose their will on the Florida defense. The Gators will face a two-back set for the first time this season. Florida has gone up against pass-happy, up-tempo teams in recent weeks and used its nickel package for a majority of the snaps.

That will change this weekend. Arkansas has a downhill run game that could keep Florida from having as many defensive backs on the field as it has in recent games.

"Like always, we have different packages based on the personnel we're seeing," Durkin said. "There's still going to be some nickel we're going to play, there's some regular. We just try to package things to get our best guys on the field and this week will be the same. There's more tight end and fullback-type personnel groups that we're going to face on offense this week than we've had the past couple."

The Arkansas offensive line is the key to making the run game work. It's a veteran unit that has embraced the coaching staff's desire to run the ball. They thrive on it, similar to the way the Florida offensive line wants to run.

Florida head coach Will Muschamp called Arkansas the most physical offensive line Florida will face this year and Durkin echoed that on Wednesday.

"Absolutely. I think what they do offensively, that's their style," Durkin said. "The guys they have fit that. Those guys are going to line up in I-backs and get to it many different ways. They've got their set of run plays and they're going to come downhill, run it and make you stop it. So far this year, no one has. That speaks for itself."

Freshman running back Alex Collins is a big reason for the success. He has four 100-yard games in Arkansas' five games this season. The Gators know about Collins after recruiting him hard last season, and his dominant freshman season is turning heads all over the conference.

"He runs hard, he runs downhill, he's got good speed, he's physical -- he's a complete back," Durkin said. "He's definitely challenging. Our guys know that. We've watched quite a bit of film of him together. I think his numbers speak for themselves what he's been able to do already this year. He's a big challenge. He's a tough guy to bring down."

HARGREAVES EARNING TIME: The Florida coaches knew what Vernon Hargreaves could do. Evaluating his high school film wasn't difficult, and they knew he would be able to make an impact during his freshman year. Every time they increased his workload in fall camp, Hargreaves showed he was capable of handling it.

"The most amazing thing is off the field, how he handles himself and carries himself," Durkin said. "He's a veteran player, upperclassman but he's only a freshman. That's the way he carries himself -- how he acts, the way he handles himself in meetings, the way he prepares for games. You have something special there when you mix all that together."


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