Out of respect for the opponent, coaches facing an out-manned team usually will not reveal their plan to play multiple backups. This is where Will Muschamp is at heading into Saturday’s game against Furman. He’s been talking about trying to play better and win the game. He’s not talking about getting his young players playing time.
But it’s going to happen. Despite all the Gators’ problems with consistency on both sides of the ball, UF will have a huge physical edge over the Paladins on Saturday in The Swamp. The Furman offense is capable of challenging the UF defense some with its passing game, but other than that, the Gators should be able to do pretty much what they want to do in this game.
I’m not telling Muschamp how to coach, but if I’m in his position, I’d give John Brantley this week off and give his banged-up ankle time to rest and get close to 100 percent for the Florida State game. Jacoby Brissett has played enough to know the offense fairly well at this stage, and the Gators need to start getting him and Jeff Driskel ready for next season. My thought is the Gators should have no problem winning this game no matter who starts at QB. Let Brantley rest, let the freshmen play, and get ready to throw everything you’ve got at the Seminoles next week in a game that could salvage part of this season.
Let’s be realistic. The Gators face tougher competition in practice every day than they will in The Swamp on Saturday. No disrespect for Furman, but this is a team that was blown out by Georgia Southern 50-20 earlier this season.
I say play a bunch of the young players early and see how they respond. If they mess up, put some of the veterans back in until the game is under control.
Prediction: Florida 42, Furman 10.