One of the benefits of opening their season against a woefully out-manned opponent is that No. 1 Florida had the opportunity to waltz to an easy victory, play all kinds of young players and basically not reveal anything to future opponents.
Vanilla. That’s what the Gators were Saturday night on both offense and defense.
UF unveiled its up-tempo attack in the first half, but other than that it was basic stuff all the way. The Gators, who usually line up in a variety of formations, went with basically one or two and kept things simple all night.
It was the same on defense. The Gators played straight up. No stunts. No blitzes. Urban Meyer said Monday that it probably drove defensive coordinator Charlie Strong nuts because he likes to get after opposing offenses with an aggressive game plan. With the Gators sitting back in a basic defense, Charleston Southern had an opportunity to pick up some yards and did — 323 overall and 228 through the air.
The Gators we saw Saturday night will not be the Gators we see the rest of the season, starting with Troy this week. The Trojans are good enough to challenge Florida, something Charleston Southern had no chance of doing. So, Florida will start showing what it really has on offense and defense Saturday afternoon.
They’ll probably hold some stuff back for Tennessee, of course. But this will be a much more aggressive approach than we saw in the opener.