HB: Five things I want to see Saturday

It's a huge game for many reasons, especially since the whole country will be watching. The Florida-Miami series starts anew and everyone with a pulse will be glued to the television. The Gators started off well last week against an outmatched Hawaii team. This week the competition is tougher. There are five things that I'd like to see happen to make this big game a real success for the Gators.

There is no doubt the single biggest internal story of the game this week is wide receiver/running back Percy Harvin's return to action. Harvin missed the opener while mending from heel surgery but is expected to be close to full speed at game time. He threw a total of 13 passes last week mainly because he didn't have to do more. A great game from Percy Harvin should mean the passing game really gets opened up and the lethal fire power of the offense can be unleashed like it was at times last season.

The Gators had four sacks last week and were continuously in the backfield. One person conspicuously absent from the stats sheet was sophomore defensive end Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap has been a big positive in camp this year and is expected to have a standout year. Saturday the Gators played vanilla on defense and Dunlap was asked to play a role that meant he wouldn't be in position to make too many plays. The Gators should be in a more traditional four down line set this week and Dunlap should be able to use his size (6-7, 290) and speed to really make a statement in the backfield of Miami. This needs to happen in my opinion, especially against two freshmen quarterbacks that Miami brings into the game.

As the game progressed against Hawai'i the defense seemed to improve dramatically. The main issue early on was a lot of missed tackles up front. A little credit goes to the backs of Hawai'i who were talented, but the Gators were hitting and not wrapping up early in the game. That changed as the field dried from the rains earlier in the day and emotions came down to a level where the defenders could play under control. They can't let this happen against a Miami team that brings two really good running backs into the game on Saturday.

There is no doubt that Urban Meyer and company were trying to make a statement with the running game as it pertains to the running back position in the season opener. Florida rushed for 255 yards on Saturday and 187 yards came from the feet of the running back position. The off-season negative talk about the offense has been about the inability of the running backs in the system to run with the ball. The Gators have a very strong and athletic offensive line that should bode well for a good running game. They now seem to have the speed and diversity at running back to really add a big punch to the offense. Saturday, this trend needs to continue and it will bode well for winning the game and for the rest of the season.

The Gators were not very good kicking the ball off in the opener. On six consecutive kickoffs Hawaii started on their own 29 yard line or better. Twice they returned kickoffs to beyond the 40 yard line. This has to end and most likely will improve but it needs to start Saturday. We all know, have seen, or have heard about freshman kicker Caleb Sturgis' ability to kick the ball out of the end zone and this would be a sure cure for that issue from this point forward. The Gators gave up 111 yards of the football field on Saturday by not having Hawai'i start at the 20 yard line every time. Field position is a huge statistic for Urban Meyer and company and this is one area that should be able to be remedied easily.

Of course there are more things we all want to see from these Gators this week, but taking care of these five would mean firing on even more cylinders and make them that much more lethal.


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