2009 Gator Opponents: For Better Or Worse

When the Gators are annually ranked so high Gator fans typically worry ahead about the team's opponents. Here is a team by team look at the Gators' opponents and how they faired this week. We will give our assessment of their play related to how we think they should have done. With 11 games left on the schedule, here is our take on how those opponents fared in their games last weekend.

Troy (0-2)
Last Game: Lost 56-6 at Florida.
Report: This game was supposed to be closer and had Florida held onto the ball in the first quarter, this game could have been in the 80's for the Gators. Urban Meyer repeatedly has said that troy is a better team that what it showed on Saturday.
Next Game: This week in Troy vs. UAB.
Is the Perception Better or Worse?: Worse (than a week ago)

Tennessee (1-1)
Last Game: Lost 19-15 in Knoxville to UFCLA
Report: The Vols looked extremely ugly on offense against UCLA. The fans want to put it all on the quarterback and give credit to Lane Kiffin for talking the blame. He is the one starting Jonathan Crompton right now. Tennessee had just 208 yards of total offense in a sloppy game that saw the Vols turn the ball over four times. The Vol defense was good against a mediocre UCLA offense, but will be challenged both athletically and schematically this week.
Next Game: This week at Florida
Is the Perception Better or Worse?: Much Worse (than a week ago)

Kentucky (1-0)
Last Game: Won 42-0 at Miami of Ohio in week one.
Report: Did not play last weekend.
Next Game: This week vs. Louisville at home.
Is the Perception Better or Worse?: N/A(than a week ago)

LSU (2-0)
Last Game: Won 23 - 9 in Baton Rouge over Vanderbilt
Report: The LSU defense was tough and played better than I expected. The offense is behind right now. The Tigers have a mean running game with big backs and linemen that like to pound. I think Vandy is a pretty good team, so I don't want to down play a close game against them. I think LSU is a three loss team at minimum.
Next Game: Saturday at home vs. Louisiana Lafayette
Is the Perception Better or Worse?: About the Same (than a week ago)

Arkansas (1-0)
Last Game: Won 48-10 in Fayetteville over Missouri State in week one.
Report: Did not play last weekend.
Next Game: This week at home vs. Georgia
Is the Perception Better or Worse?: Slightly Better (than a week ago)

Mississippi State (1-1)
Last Game: Lost at Auburn 49-24
Report: The Bulldogs actually led the game 17-14 with under five minutes left in the second half before the doors came off. In the end Mississippi State had no answer on defense to stop Auburn's running attack that amassed 390 yards on the ground. MSU had almost 300 yards of offense despite turning the ball over twice, they just couldn't stop Auburn once they got going. This team that looked decent the week before suddenly appears very vulnerable.
Next Game: This week at Vanderbilt
Is the Perception Better or Worse?: Worse (than a week ago)

Georgia (1-1)
Last Game: Won 41-37 in Athens over South Carolina
Report: Georgia's return game bailed them out. I picked South Carolina to win the game and I still think the Gamecocks are the better team. Georgia can't get out of it's own way on offense and the defense gave up 428 yards in a close game against a mediocre offense.
Next Game: This week at Arkansas and I have them losing this one.
Is the Perception Better or Worse?: Worse (than a week ago)

Vanderbilt (1-1)
Last Game: Lost 23-9 at LSU.
Report: Vanderbilt does a lot with not much in my opinion. Totally outclassed talent wise to LSU, Vandy made it tough on the Tigers all game long. I knew they would lose close and the score was indicative of how close the game was.
Next Game: This week at home vs. Mississippi State.
Is the Perception Better or Worse?: Slightly Better (than a week ago)

South Carolina (1-1)
Last Game: Lost 41-37 at Georgia.
Report: The Gamecocks got off to a big lead and what looked like an easy win coming. Special teams failed them and you have to think that they will get those mistakes corrected. Stephen Garcia looked legitimate at quarterback against what is thought of as a decent defense. If the offense is for real, they will be better than thought of.
Next Game:
Is the Perception Better or Worse?: Slightly Better (than a week ago)

FIU (0-1)
Last Game: Lost 40-14 at Alabama.
Report: FIU rushed for one yard against Alabama and allowed more than 500 yards. There wasn't much expected from the Golden Panthers this season and we certainly didn't see it in their first game.
Next Game: This week at Rutgers.
Is the Perception Better or Worse?: About the Same (than a week ago)

Florida State (1-1)
Last Game: Won (19-9) in Tallahassee over Jacksonville State.
Report: FSU ran for 78 yards and was sacked twice in the game. The "vaunted" FSU offensive line hasn't lived up to that billing yet in the first two weeks. The Championship Subdivision opponent seemed to throw all over the Nole defense. Jacksonville State was winning with under a minute left in the contest in what should have been a blowout.
Next Game: This week at BYU.
Is the Perception Better or Worse?: Worse (than a week ago)

Round Up: Again, the top three teams on Florida's schedule appear to be even or worse than a week ago. LSU, Georgia, and Florida State have not looked good in any of their contests yet. South Carolina may be a team to watch if they can get their special teams under control.


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