I’m having a hard time getting a feel for this game — mainly because I have no feel for this Florida football team at the moment.
Were the Gators as bad, especially offensively, as they looked a week ago? Will this start to look like the team we thought it was going to be if all the bad snaps and mistakes are cleaned up this week? Is this team going to be a contender for championships? Or a contender to lose four, five or even six games?
No one knows for sure right now. After what we saw last Saturday, this season, this team, could go in either direction — even though I’m inclined to think the latter (four, five or six losses) is not going to happen.
One thing we do know for sure: If the Gators play like they did against Miami (Ohio), the Bulls will run them right out of the stadium Saturday. That’s pretty much a guarantee. The Bulls have the talent (especially dual-threat quarterback B.J. Daniels) to make the Gators pay dearly if they repeat their opening-day blunders.
I have a feeling the offense will be much better — and take better care of the football. Mike Pouncey and John Brantley say the snapping issues have been taken care of this week. We’ll see today. With the return of starting offensive guard Carl Johnson (and possibly starting left tackle Xavier Nixon), the line should be much more effective, which would do wonders for Brantley’s confidence. And it would to get some of the other wide receivers involved, including Frankie Hammond Jr. (who returns this week) and talented redshirt freshman Andre Debose.
So, the prediction here is the offense will be more efficient (how much more, who knows).
On defense, the Gators have to contain Daniels and prevent him from breaking out of the pocket and making big plays with his arm and his legs. If they lose containment a whole bunch, the Bulls will have a chance to sprint up and down the field and score a bunch of points.
Overall, USF is a very demanding test for this Florida team, a challenge that will give us a better idea where this season is headed for the Gators.
Prediction: Florida 28, South Florida 24.