Hollywood Bob: What I Want To See Saturday

The Florida Gators start their quest to repeat as national champions today and with a ton of starters back from the 2008 squad, there might not seem a lot to wish for in a game like this. That isn't the case as there are some key battles at certain spots and a couple of question marks still remaining. Here is what I would like to see from a team that is expected to be better than a year ago.

Florida Coach Urban Meyer is hoping to be dancing in California in early January, but to do that his current team must answer just a few questions along the way. With his entire starting defense returning and almost the whole second team from a defense that finished ninth in the country last year, most of the questions on this Gator team are on offense. There may be a few things to look for on defense, but either way, it appears a special season is on the horizon if the team stays healthy.

Here are the biggest things I want to look for on Saturday.

Tops on the list for me is the play at wide receiver. This one area I want to cover at two levels, one starter and my biggest question is the how are back ups at receiver going to fare.

The Gators cannot go a season with just four receivers in my mind, yet that is all that Meyer has said he trusts right now at the position. Riley Cooper, Deonte Thompson, David Nelson,and Brandon James will all get to show what they can do early on Saturday and Meyer has the utmost faith in them. Three of the four will start.

If one or more of them go down or need a rest is when the Gators need someone else to make a move. Really the only candidates for this move at the moment are freshmen Frankie Hammond and T.J. Lawrence, and junior Justin Williams.

With that in mind, it would behoove the Gators and offensive staff to get two of those three to show that they can be counted on and maybe more importantly make some plays on the field in front of a big crowd. The opportunity will be there Saturday, one or more of the threesome needs to seize the chance.

I still want to see Deonte Thompson also make a good deal of noise on Saturday. I think we have seen the other three older guys Nelson, Cooper, and James make big plays when it counts, Thompson needs to show that he can be that guy and I expect him to.

I am less concerned with the offensive line simply because they have a bunch of players that have played and this staff has a history of plugging people in and having them play at a high level along the line. I actually want to see more on the defensive line.

A push from the interior of the defensive line would be just what the doctor ordered for Jermaine Cunningham, Carlos Dunlap, and company on the outside. A better push up the middle will open up the outside guys to free shots on the quarterback. Jaye Howard and a new Lawrence Marsh are rumored to have a new fondness for getting to the backfield and I would hope to see it a lot on Saturday. If the Gators can get better play making ability from the interior of their defensive line, they will inevitably have it from all the parts of their defense.

Emmanuel Moody needs to have a big game. I don't remember a more ballyhooed player that has actually shown hints of his big time ability, be so forgotten at times. Moody is healthy and if he can stay that way, he can be a power back that can go the distance that the Gators really want to have in this offense.

I want to see John Brantley with a lot of time. I understand Tim Tebow needs to get in a rhythm with his receivers and maybe get some time with the backups, but according to Meyer, Brantley deserves to play. I think he will get more than a half as the Gators look to redshirt the only other scholarship quarterback on campus Jordan Reed.

The only other thing I want to really see is for the backups to do well. The Gators have some big time talented depth, but it seems that when they get a chance to play the second team in some of these blow out games, the second team doesn't actually live up to expectations. I think this is a different kind of team and a lot of the second team has a great deal of experience to go with their talent.

Other than all of that, win the game and stay healthy.


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