Our Fact or Fiction segment continues as we get closer to the SEC schedule being released and maybe even games being played in late September. Maybe. Sun staffers Robbie Andreu and Pat Dooley continue to embrace the debate:
Emory Jones will have more rushing touchdowns than Kyle Trask this season.
Andreu: Coach Dan Mullen has made it pretty clear that he wants to get Jones more involved in the offense, so his role and playing time are going to expand this season, While Trask is a willing running, sort of in the vein of Feleipe Franks, Jones is a natural runner with the potential to make dynamic plays with his legs. After last season, the Gators need to get their running game going again, and having Jones in the game, a threat to run, is one way to do it. Jones is going to get more touches, more plays, which will translate into more scoring opportunities. FACT.
Dooley: They both had four last year because — even though Trask isn’t the runner Jones is — the quarterback draw is a big part of Florida’s playbook. Now that we know Florida is going to have 10 conference games, it may decrease the playing time for Jones that was expected because Florida could be in so many tight games. So it’s difficult to say. But I think you’re going to see more long runs from Jones this season and that could lead to more touchdowns. FACT.
Donovan Stiner will lead Florida in interceptions for the second season in a row.
Andreu: Stiner has shown in the past that he has a knack for breaking on the ball and making plays. But he’s certainly not the only one with those qualities in what should be another potentially elite Florida secondary. Not only will this be a talented back end, it will be deep and experienced. What that means is Stiner is going to be sharing playing time with Shawn Davis and Brad Stewart. So, fewer reps means fewer opportunities to make big plays and interceptions for everybody in the secondary. FICTION.
Dooley: Florida was not a big interception team last year with 15 (four by Stiner), slightly more than one a game. Stiner had a huge pick in the end zone against Auburn and Florida’s depth at safety may mean we see a cornerback lead the team this year. The Gators aren’t exactly going to go up against a plethora of great quarterbacks, which could mean there will be a lot of opportunities. Stiner has six in his last two years, but you could throw the secondary players in a hat and pick any one of them. FICTION.
At least four players will opt out of the season citing health concerns.
Andreu: There’s already been some Twitter talk this week from wide receivers Kadarius Toney and Jacob Copeland about opting out this season being an option they are considering. But that’s all it is at this point — just talk. The vibe I’m getting from over there is that the players are eager to get to camp and even more eager to get back in The Swamp and play football games again. Over the last month, UF has had zero football players test positive, so they’re obviously taking a safe, cautious approach to this. The players, of course, have noticed. FICTION.
Dooley: Certainly, around the country we are seeing it happen and the feeling of empowerment the players are feeling could be a factor. Dan Mullen has worked hard to bring this program together, but that has been made more difficult by the inability to get the players into their locker rooms so far. I think there will be players who opt out for other reasons than health concerns, but not four. FICTION.