The Gators — and the rest of college football — will find out Saturday the true identity of this Florida team. No. 7 Auburn will reveal it.
Are the Gators a better team than they’ve shown through the first five games? Or is this just who they are — a team that’s a little above average? Being around the players this week, they seem confident they are going to show the football world they are better, much better, than ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit and their other many critics are giving them credit for.
The Gators are going to be jacked, for sure. And so will The Swamp. But emotion can carry you only so far. Ultimately, it comes down to who is the better team physically. And whose coaching staff comes up with a better game plan on both sides of the ball.
The biggest concern for the Gators is the perceived massive mismatch in favor of Auburn’s powerful (and fast) defensive line over the struggling Florida offensive line, which seems to be regressing over the course of the season after that poor performance against Towson last Saturday.
Dan Mullen and the offensive coaches are going to have to coach around this big problem area, just like they successfully did when facing a very similar situation against Mississippi State last season.
Defensively, the Gators have to do a much better job on third down. Their inability to get opposing offenses off the field has drastically cut into the number of plays Mullen’s offense is getting.
This is going to be a physical, low-scoring game. At least that’s what the Gators hope it is. I don’t seen this UF offense, with the mismatch up front, scoring many points against this powerful Auburn defense.
I just have a feeling Auburn’s offense is going to get off to a quick start — a touchdown on the game’s first possession — and the Tigers will run with it from there, controlling the tempo of the game and eventually silencing The Swamp.
Prediction: Auburn 28, Florida 13.