KICKOFF: Saturday, 12:21 ET
TV: SEC Network
SERIES: First meeting.
POLLS: Florida (8 AP, 6 USA Today)
PREDICTION: Florida, 37-13
KEYS TO THE GAME:
-- Florida will need to limit its turnovers after committing three last week and establish a consistent center-quarterback snap exchange to keep its offense in rhythm. Meyer is concerned about USF's zone blitz scheme, but the offensive line should be bolstered by the return of starting LG Carl Johnson and the possible return of starting LT Xavier Nixon. On defense, Florida will need to account for speedy, dual-threat USF quarterback B.J. Daniels (13 TDs rushing, 9 passing). Florida linebackers coach D.J. Durkin said he has yet to decide whether a defender will shadow Daniels throughout the game to prevent him from scrambling.
-- South Florida will try to continue Florida's miseries for another week. The Gators struggled offensively in their opening win over Miami (Ohio) and likely will be primed to make up for that showing. Daniels needs to play with the same poise he displayed against Stony Brook in the opener, when he kept his cool after falling behind early.
SCOUTING THE TEAMS:
The Gators ran about 50 percent of their offensive plays under center and another 50 percent out of the shotgun, Meyer said he would like to remain a shotgun team, despite the snapping woes. "It's not just 'cause we like the shotgun," Meyer said. "It's because we like to get away from the rush." On the ground, Florida averaged just 3.2 yards per carry. The Gators will need to block better to create holes for speedy big-play backs that aren't strong enough to break tackles on their own. First-year defensive coordinator Teryl Austin's debut was a little more promising. Florida held Miami of Ohio to just four yards rushing and the secondary came up big with four interceptions. Florida would like to improve its pass rush after recording just two sacks against the RedHawks.
They will be tested by a South Florida offense that scored on its first play from scrimmage and ran and passed for 583 yards in the win over Stony Brook. The most pleasing development probably was the emergence of running backs Marcus Shaw (86 yards rushing), Demetris Murray (46), and Mo Plancher (27), taking the run responsibility away from QB B.J. Daniels. The biggest concern with the defense was in stopping the running game. Stony Brook gashed the Bulls for 142 yards rushing and the USF defense notched only one sack. Obviously, they need to get more pressure on Florida QB John Brantley, who was 17-of-25 passing but for only 113 yards in the Gators' opener.
Gators: Florida coach Urban Meyer is 9-0 against other Florida teams since taking the Gators' head job ... The Gators extended their season-opening winning streak to 21 games last week, second best in the nation ... Florida and USF were the only two teams in the country to record four interceptions in the opening week, and Janoris Jenkins' 67-yard interception return for a touchdown that was the nation's longest during Week One ... The Gators limited Miami to four yards rushing on 22 attempts last week, fewest since allowing Tennessee minus-11 yards in 2006 ... Florida's four interceptions marked the third time in the Meyer era the Gators have notched four picks and the first time that four different players produced them ...Florida QB John Brantley spent the Sunday morning after the Miami of Ohio game working with center Mike Pouncey on the center-snap exchange. Three muffed snaps led to one turnover and two other long losses.
Bulls: The Bulls are 1-4 against SEC teams, with the only victory coming at Auburn in a 26-23 overtime victory in 2007 ... They are 11-2 against teams from the state of Florida ... South Florida scored on its first offensive play of the season as B.J. Daniels hooked up with Dontavia Bogan on a 59-yard TD pass. It marked the first time in the 13-year history of the program that USF scored on its first offensive play of a season and the fourth time the Bulls scored on their first offensive play of a game. USF's 563-yard effort against Stony Brook was the fourth-highest total in school history. The most -- 582 vs. Syracuse in 2007.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
QB John Brantley -- Brantley didn't put up the kind of gaudy passing numbers some expected he would in his first career start. How will he bounce back? Will his confidence be shaken? Brantley said he's trying to channel out any negative comments and focus on USF.
C Mike Pouncey -- Pouncey, UF's senior leader on the offensive line, will need to solve his snap issues. Florida can't afford to turn the ball over against a talented USF team.
CB Jeremy Brown -- Brown, who wasn't expected to play against Miami of Ohio after rolling his ankle the week before in practice, appeared in 31 plays and graded out a champion. Brown had one of UF's four interceptions and will be counted on for more playing time now that senior defensive back Moses Jenkins is out at least six weeks with a hyper-extended elbow.
RB Mike Gillislee -- Gillislee lost a fumble against Miami of Ohio, but Meyer overall was pleased with how hard he ran the ball and how well he played on special teams. "He is a tough nut that goes hard," Meyer said. "He is not a perfect kid at all, but he is getting closer." Gillislee could get more carries against USF if Emmanuel Moody and Chris Rainey continue to struggle running the football.
QB B.J. Daniels -- Daniels ran only five times in the win over Stony Brook and completed 15 of his 22 pass attempts for 264 yards. His playmaking ability will be more severely tested this time around, however.
WR Evan Landi -- After serving as Daniels' backup and playing some wide receiver last year, Landi moved full-time to the wide out position last spring. He led the Bulls with six catches for 104 yards in the opener.
S Mark Joyce -- A true freshman, Joyce stepped up and returned an interception 33 yards for a touchdown against Stony Brook. He remains No. 2 on the depth chart behind junior Jerrell Young but will see playing time.
CB Moses Jenkins (elbow, out), WR Frankie Hammond Jr. (suspension, probable), T Xavier Nixon (knee, probable), G James Walsh (knee, probable), OL Matt Patchan (wrist, out), TE Jordan Reed (knee, questionable), DT Terron Sanders (knee, questionable).