Florida Gators vs Toledo Rockets Preview


Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The clock is ticking. Florida football is almost here. Opening day at the Swamp will feature a Gators offense with many questions facing off against a Toledo attack that returns many weapons. Here are some story lines to follow leading up to the game and during it. Once there is opening kick, you can follow along with our live stream.

Gators On Offense

The key will be Jeff Driskel’s play; try to limit mistakes while getting receivers involved. With Matt Jones still out, the running game will feature a three headed monster of Mack Brown, Mark Herndon, and Valdez Showers according to the depth chart. Despite injuries up front, Pease has voiced his confidence in the o-line. They must play well in order to establish the run early on. This will be a big game for the wide receiver corp. If Florida wants to contend, a wide out will have to separate themselves from the pack, and this is the perfect game to do it.

Gators On Defense

If UF plans on going places this season, the defense will have to set the tone they have the past couple years. Led in the secondary by Loucheiz Purifoy, the Gators will have to contain speedster Bernard Reedy. Watch freshman Vernon Hargreaves III. There has been a lot of hype, and it will be interesting to see how he performs on the big stage. Up front, Florida and Dominque Easley will look to reek havoc on Terrance Owens. Last season, the Gators recorded 30 sacks. After losing talent to the draft, Dante Fowler and co. will look to pick up where they left off.

Rockets On Offense

Terrance Owens is similar to Jeff Driskel in that they both have mobility outside of the pocket. Owens is a 5th year Rocket who is in charge of the Toledo no huddle attack. With the dinged up defensive line, Rockets’ RB David Fluellen could have a huge game on Saturday. That is provided that the Toledo line gives him adequate blocking and he maintains patient. What wide receiver Bernard Reedy lacks in height, he makes up for in play making ability. Watch for him at the Swamp. He expressed his confidence that the Rockets could take advantage in the 2nd half.

Rockets On Defense

The Rockets’ defense is very very young. Only four starters return from last season, and all four players on the defensive line are making their first start. Others are making a big step up in terms of playing time and contributions. Those include tackles Chris Collins and Orion Jones. Brent Pease is familiar with this Toledo defense, having played against them twice while with Boise State.

Bottom Line

If Florida can establish some sort of running game and Jeff Driskel can get in a rhythm, this should hypothetically be an “easy” win…Let’s not forget about the Rajin’ Cajuns though. On the defensive side, Florida will have their conditioning tested by the up tempo Rocket’s offense. The key will be to get fresh legs on the field and limit big plays.

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