Thursday Practice Report

Linebacker Channing Crowder is getting fired up for a shot at Cedric Cobbs. He's ready for a "great-against-great" showdown. Plus, Ran Carthon could be back to starting....

The confidence amongst Florida's run defenders has caused for heavy anticipation of Saturday's game against Arkansas. This time around, the Gators' reasons are justified.

A week ago, they stuffed LSU for 56 yards on the ground. But against Cedric Cobbs – one of the nation's premier tailbacks – the task will be more difficult.

That's the way LB Channing Crowder likes it.

"You want to play great-against-great," Crowder said. "If you feel like you're good, then you want to play against the best. Cobbs is a pretty good guy and a pretty good back, and I want to play against him. But I'm not scared of any man until they have to crank him up with a key in the morning."

Considering the Razorbacks rely almost entirely on their ground attack, the run defense could be the most telling aspect of Florida's fate.

With DE Bobby McCray coming off of one of his best games and DT Kenny Parker and Crowder back from arthroscopic knee surgery, the Gators find themselves in an ideal situation.

"Just like when they said [Miami tailback] Frank Gore was better than [Willis] McGahee, we were all fired up," said Crowder.

Cobbs leads the Southeastern Conference in yards per game with 128.

CARTHON IT IS

Florida coach Ron Zook said naming a starting tailback for Saturday's game means very little when considering the planned attack.

But for those keeping tabs, TB Ran Carthon likely will start as a result of his recovery from a strained hamstring. Sophomore Ciatrick Fason ran with the first-team offense most of the week and was expected to start if Carthon couldn't.

Nonetheless, each will see plenty of action.

"It doesn't matter whose first team, second team or third team," Zook said. "We need them all. They're all good backs. They can all play."

The confusion at tailback came after Fason broke out for a career-high 92 yards against LSU while Carthon and DeShawn Wynn were sidelined with injuries.

Zook became somewhat agitated after Thursday's practice when asked about the prospective depth chart.

"Ciatrick Fason was the fourth guy scheduled to go in [against LSU], and he was the offensive player of the game," Zook said. "[The media] always has to know one, two, three, four, five….All that does is mess with their minds. [The media] really doesn't do anything to help the players."

BRIEFLY

Zook said he likely will redshirt DE Jarvis Moss if his recovery from an injury to his pelvic region doesn't improve soon. Moss, a true freshman, saw time against Florida A&M until re-aggravating the injury he initially incurred in high school. He has sat out since….OT Max Starks, a former Lake Highland Prep standout, went through a full practice Thursday. He is expected to start Saturday. Starks missed last week's game against LSU because of an abscessed tooth….DT Marcus Thomas (ankle) also practiced and is expected to play.


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