With everyone writing (and talking about) how bad the Florida offense was in the opener, some of the positive things that happened on the other side of the ball have been somewhat overlooked. Like the play of the three true freshman defensive linemen — end Ronald Powell and tackles Sharrif Floyd and Dominique Easley.
Defensive line coach Dan McCarney said Wednesday that all three did some good things Saturday, especially Floyd and Powell.
“Powell and Floyd were the best of the (young) guys that played,” McCarney said. “Sharrif really graded out almost 90 percent. He did a really good job. There didn’t appear to be a lot of drop-off when he went into the game, and he backed up the guy that was the SEC defensive lineman of the week (Jaye Howard).
“I was really proud of all the young guys getting a chance to get out there and play for the first time. I thought the effort was real good.”
The young guys should see more playing time Saturday — and throughout the season. McCarney played 13 players on the defensive line against Miami (Ohio) and he plans to keep rotating players in and out for the rest of the season to keep everyone fresh.
“As you probably saw last week, I don’t wait very long before I start rolling and rotating and getting guys in there,” McCarney said. “It will be the same thing this week. I’ve got a lot of faith and trust in a lot of guys, and they’ve earned it. I’m going to keep playing a lot of guys.”
The defensive line could receive a boost this week with the possible return of senior tackle Terron Sanders (sprained knee), who is back at practice this week. Plus, senior tackles Brandon Antwine (knee) and Lawrence Marsh (hamstring) should be available for more playing time this week than last. Marsh played 18 plays against Miami, while Antwine played only 12.
“That’s about what I expected, what I planned for,” McCarney said.