Scrimmage Preview for Tonight

Here is a preview of what to look for in tonight's scrimmage in the Swamp.

Tonight, the Gators hold their second public scrimmage in the Swamp at 6 pm. This scrimmage will have more of a "game look" to it than many of the others we have seen under Ron Zook.  The "situational" phases will be mostly at the end of practice and the competition will begin in the open field area.
Look for the offense to continue to be balanced, as they utilize both Earnest Graham and Ran Carthon in the running game. This particular running scheme takes more work, time and reps than the one in the Spurrier Era and must remain a focus in the scrimmage. There will be down the field passes by Rex Grossman.  The big reason is the return of Taylor Jacobs, the Gators best deep threat. The up-tempo offense is not to be confused with the quick strike "Fun and Gun" of the past twelve seasons.  This offense  will use more clock, have touchdown drives that zap the defenses energy and be better in the running game.

Defensively, I look for Coach Thompson to continue to pressure with several packages. While the schemes are similar, the personnel may not be tonight.  Included in that is the ability to put Tron Lafavor, Ian Scott and Arpedge Rolle in on the defensive line at one time. The emphasis for the defense tonight is turnovers.  They will look to strip and separate the ball more tonight than they have in camp so far. This defenses strength is in numbers and with the Bobby McCray suspension and Clint Mitchell out for the first game, look to see if some of the young guys shine. The third and final scrimmage will be one dedicated to Special Teams so this may be the last look at ones versus ones in a game type situation before the opener next week against UAB. Here are some things to watch and my fearless predictions.

Middle Linebacker battle with Reid Fleming and Matt Farrior.They must make more plays versus the run tonight and create turnovers. Look for one of the two to shine tonight.  Prediction: Farrior.

Wide Receiver Depth: With Jacobs out on Saturday, Matt Jackson and Kelvin Kight shined.  Can they back it up? This will be the last major opportunity for Kenneth Tookes, Reggie Lewis and Jemalle Cornelius to avoid the possibility of a red-shirt.  Carlos Perez was silent in the last scrimmage and Vernell Brown is starting to come on.  Prediction:  Perez has big night, Dallas Baker emerges as the freshman in the rotation, Vernell's big night pushes Perez and Keiwan Ratliff may play some receiver in a package or two.

Offensive Line Depth: Lance Butler has shown great versatility in playing guard and tackle. If Bobby Williams goes, he may not have his legs under him, but if he does well that is a good sign. David Jorgensen can play three spots and with Dewayne Dubose at center really needs to handle the second defensive line. Randy Hand needs to keep coming as does Rod Dowdy.  Prediction:  First Unit impresses and Jorgensen has a great practice.

Defensive Line Depth:  With the suspensions and so forth will Sylvester McGrew move up?  Tauren Charles and Steven Harris have both made plays with the three's in scrimmage activity. What about tackles with Bryan Savelio and Kenny Parker.  Prediction:  I think Steven Harris will have a big scrimmage and force Zook to take a long look at him as a candidate to play.

Other Defensive Personnel: Todd McCollough has made plays with the two defense.  It is time for Travis Harris to make some players as well. I think both will go in at times with the number one unit.
  Corey Bailey and Larry Kendrick fight it out for the nickel back spot. Bailey is a better cover guy, Kendrick a better run stopper. Both guys need to get better at the blitz package. Daryl Dixon may get his chance to challenge Lester Norwood for the backup spot at safety. Prediction: Big nights for Harris and Bailey.

Finally-the backup quarterback spot: Ingle Martin has done the job in the preseason and the focus will once again be on Jeff Creveling, Gavin Dickey and Patrick Dosh.  Who can make enough plays to move the offense? If they are all equal obviously Creveling is the mop up guy, but one of the freshmen may dress and travel if they outshine the others.  Prediction:  Dickey will make enough plays to keep the third spot up for grabs with Creveling.

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