Charleston Southern Review / Troy Preview

Florida made it through it’s glorified scrimmage with CSU in good shape. Almost the entire roster got to play, the younger players saw extensive time, and most importantly, no major injuries were incurred.

The game was a competitive mismatch from the start, as the first team offense scored at will running or passing. The only disappointment were 2 dropped TD passes, one each by Deonte Thompson and Brandon James. With the absence of Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy, somehow the mix of WRs has to at least be consistent in catching the ball, as it’s doubtful big plays will be repeated as often this season. It was good that Brantley got to play more than one half, as he needs all the live reps he can. For the last 20 minutes or so, the entire O-Line was comprised of redshirt and true freshmen — a good sign for the future. This is the area that has enabled Florida to pass by scUM and F$U for a while.

The defense was as vanilla as it gets, as they only showed 2 basic looks and blitzed only a few plays. Even so, I was disappointed that they yielded so many passing yards and that CSU had over 35 minutes in time-of-possession. The backup secondary players missed a ton of tackles, while the D-Line got surprisingly little push up the middle. Hopefully that was more of a function of the basic scheme and not being too hyped mentally.

The level of opponent increases this week with Troy. A lot of the roster that had L$U on the ropes at Baton Rouge last year is back, and there is some future NFL talent on their team. They will run a one-back, 4 WR spread look most of the time on offense, which will present a solid challenge to the defense in the areas that were less than stellar against CSU. Troy’s defense is not as formidable as the past 2 years as they have sent 3-4 players to the NFL, but there is still enough talent on their first team to challenge the Gator offense for a while.

Where Troy is lacking is in depth after the first unit on both sides of the ball, and this will be exposed by the middle of the second quarter. Florida’s offense has to show some improvement in the passing game, as a more definitive WR rotation needs to materialize. The Gator defense needs to get some pass rush from the D-Line without relying solely on blitzing to help with pressure. In addition, Dustin Doe and Janoris Jenkins are back from suspension.

This is a good test for the team this week, and the coaching staff seems to have the player’s focus on this game rather than looking ahead to Tennessee.

Prediction  Florida  45   Troy 14