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Florida at Texas A&M Pregame Notebook

Special to Gatorsports.com
Texas A&M's home field: Kyle Field in College Station, Texas.

No. 3 Florida (2-0) at No. 20 Texas A&M (1-1), at noon today (ESPN).

The Gators (2-0) have been especially unhappy with their inability to get off the field consistently on third and fourth downs while on defense. Teams have converted 15 of 31 third-down attempts against them and 5 of 7 fourth-down opportunities.

UF looks to change that production today at Texas A&M (1-1).

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The Gators have played well in decisive wins over Mississippi and South Carolina but will face bigger tests in upcoming weeks with A&M starting a streak of three of four games against ranked opponents. After a lopsided loss at No. 2 Alabama last week, the Aggies could use a win against a top-10 opponent to quiet critics who have started to question if coach Jimbo Fisher has done much to improve the program.

KEY MATCHUP

Florida's combo of QB Kyle Trask and TE Kyle Pitts vs. Texas A&M’s pass defense. The fourth-ranked Gators have averaged 44 points a game, largely due to the Trask-Pitts connection. Trask has thrown a SEC-leading 10 touchdown passes, six of them to Pitts, the strong, mobile and elusive tight end who leads the Football Subdivision in TD catches. The pair have led Florida to scoring 35-plus points in consecutive SEC games for the first time since 2012. The Aggies (1-1) are 10th in the SEC in pass defense, allowing more than 290 yards through the air. They gave up 435 passing yards in a 52-24 loss last week to No. 2 Alabama and will have to improve in a hurry to slow down the Gators. 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Florida: TE Kyle Pitts is tied for first in the FBS with six touchdown receptions. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound junior has 12 receptions for 227 yards, highlighted by a 71-yard catch.

Texas A&M: QB Kellen Mond has thrown for 507 yards with four touchdowns and an interception this season. He needs just 125 yards passing on Saturday to pass Jerrod Johnson (8,011) for the most career yards passing in school history.

FACTS & FIGURES

The Gators are averaging 44.5 points a game, which ranks fourth nationally and second in the SEC. They have scored 35 points or more in four straight games. ... The Gators are averaging 357 yards passing. ... The Aggies are 13-0 when leading after the first quarter under Fisher and they’re 12-3 at home in his tenure. ... S Keldrick Carper is five tackles from reaching 100 in his career. ... Senior OL Carson Green has started 31 straight games, which is the longest streak on the team. ... Mond threw for 318 yards against Alabama for the sixth 300-yards passing game of his career. ... Series record: Tied 2-2. ... Trask is one of three quarterbacks in SEC history, according to ESPN Stats & Info, to throw for 10 touchdowns through the first two games (Kentucky's Tim Couch in 1998 and Florida's Terry Dean in 1994).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.