Scouting Report: WKU Defense

We continue our look at Florida's opening opponent as we evaluate what things might look like when the Gators have the football. It's much easier to get a feel for what Western does on defense than it is on offense.

Scouting Report: WKU Offense

First of all, head coach David Elson is hands on with this unit and it clearly bears his mark. Secondly, they have eight starters back from a year ago, and a couple of junior college guys show up with experience already under their belts.

Western tends to blitz a lot, maybe two-thirds of the time with different combinations of personnel. As long as Florida can figure out who is doing what, they should be able to dominate this match-up.

Scouting the WKU Defense

Last season Western Kentucky allowed almost 24 points a game and really struggled against good running teams, giving up 170 a game on the ground. They did not mount a great deal of pressure on opposing quarterbacks, totaling just 14 sacks on the season.

Defensively, Western has below average size and speed but they play hard. Their best unit is probably the linebacker corps led by Blake Boyd who plays the strong side in their 3-4 alignment. He's a physical kid who doesn't cover much ground. Dusty Bear is a kid from Venice, Florida who led them in quarterback sacks last season with a total of 3.5! Andre Lewis moves inside and is the top returning tackler of the group with 76. This group will have to read the Florida spread option and try and keep up with the Gators' playmakers "in the box". I don't think they can do it.

The defensive line is undersized and should be easily manhandled by Florida's line. The nose guard, Chris Walker No. 91 is a decent player but he's overmatched against Drew Miller. Defensive end Dan Cline is a rangy guy at 6-6, 235, which would make him more effective in a four down front. In a 3-4, he'll have to overpower Jason Watkins or Carlton Medder in order to make plays.

The secondary has two solid performers in cornerback Travis Watters and fee safety Marion Rumph. Watters had three interceptions last year, which is significant considering the team had just six! Rumph led the team in '06 with 87 tackles. He's from Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee and you know he'd love to make an impression on the Gators. However, it's never a good sign for a defense when the free safety is the leading tackler. The strong safety, Bo Smith is also a Florida kid as is second-team corner and punt returner Rashad Etheridge.

The Western defense will not be able to do much against the Gators and Florida should have a field day offensively. Look for Kestahn Moore to post a 100-yard game and for Florida to post its third consecutive game with at least 38 points and likely a lot more than that.

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