Before every Florida game, veteran college football beat writer Robbie Andreu comes up with five pertinent questions and then answers them after the game. Here’s Week 3:
1. How will Florida’s depleted secondary hold up against a very potent Colorado State passing game?
The secondary became even further depleted in the second half when nickel Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and cornerback CJ Henderson went to the sideline with minor injuries. (They returned later). When they were out, the Rams burned the Gators for a 48-yard touchdown pass to wide open tight end Trey McBride down the middle. Overall, the secondary gave up some plays, but managed to hold up, limiting the Rams to 217 yards passing.
2. Will the Gators lose both lines of scrimmage again?
The defensive line, with two new starters at tackle (Adam Shuler and Kyree Campbell), clearly won its battle against the CSU front. The Gators held the Rams to just 70 yards rushing and brought steady heat throughout the game, sacking quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels five times. The offensive line didn’t necessarily win the line of scrimmage, but performed better than in the loss to Kentucky. So, we’ll call it a tie.
3. Can Feleipe Franks take advantage of a Colorado State defense that has been burned in the passing game?
After getting off to an awful start (0 for 6 with a pick in the first quarter), Franks settled down and played OK the rest of the way. Over the final three quarters, he completed 8-of-9 passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns. He was a little slow on some of his decisions, but overall, it was another small step forward in his development under Dan Mullen.
4. Will defensive end/outside linebacker Cece Jefferson have an impact in his return from a two-game suspension?
On a very hot day, the senior helped the depth situation at rush end, but did not have much of an impact on the game coming off the bench. He did not even make it onto the defensive stat sheet, which means he had zero tackles, zero quarterback hurries and zero everything else.
5. How flat will The Swamp be coming off the loss to Kentucky?
The potential was there for the atmosphere to be real flat, but it actually wasn’t. It was not a big crowd by Swamp standards, with an announced crowd of only 80,021. But it was an engaged crowd that provided a pretty typical Swamp atmosphere. The first topic Mullen mentioned after the game was the great fan support, and how the loud environment helped energize the Gators.
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Andreu’s blog at Gatorsports.com.
Who: Florida (2-1, 0-1 SEC) vs. Tennessee (2-1, 0-0)
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tenn.
Radio: AM-850, 103.7-FM