Gator Gameday: Things To Watch

Zach Abolverdi
Gator Sports

Things to watch in today's Florida at USF game.

UF at USF Storylines

1. All eyes are on Florida’s quarterback position. Emory Jones is making his first career road start and will look to bounce back from his up-and-down showing against FAU. The season opener was a coming-out party for backup Anthony Richardson, who rushed for 160 yards and a 73-yard touchdown. Gators fans already want to see more of Richardson, which they will, but Saturday’s game is more important for Jones. 

2. The USF game will be a homecoming for several UF players from Tampa, including starters Zach Carter, Malik Davis and Richard Gouraige. Carter recorded half of Florida’s six sacks in the opener, while Davis eclipsed 100 yards rushing and Gouraige anchored an offensive line that allowed no sacks or QB hurries. The Gators could get similar performances from all three 813 products against South Florida. 

3. The Bulls were the only Division I team that didn’t score during the first week of the college football season. They have been blanked in three of their last four games against Power 5 teams, and Florida could shut them out for the fourth time since 2019. Todd Grantham’s defense pitched three shutouts that year, but didn’t have any last season. One goal for his unit Saturday is to hold USF scoreless. 

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Florida's game questions

1. How will Emory Jones play following his shaky debut as the starting quarterback? 

2. What will be Anthony Richardson’s role on offense and how does he perform?

3. Can UF eclipse 300 rushing yards vs. USF, which surrendered 293 to NC State? 

4. How many three-and-outs and third-down stops can Florida’s defense produce? 

5. Can the Gators pick off a Bulls offense that threw three interceptions in Week 1? 

Click back Sunday for Abolverdi's answers.

UF vs. USF Key matchup 

Florida’s pass rush vs. USF’s offensive line:

The Bulls are ranked 100th or worse nationally in multiple offensive categories, including total offense, scoring offense, passing offense, third-down conversions and first downs. About the only thing USF did well against NC State was protect quarterbacks Cade Fortin and Timmy McClain. The Bulls are one of only 24 teams that didn’t allow a sack in Week 1, along with UF. South Florida’s offensive line faces a much taller task Saturday vs. the Gators. Their defense racked up six sacks in the season opener, which is tied for third-best nationally. Can Zach Carter & Co. generate a similar pass rush against USF, or will the Bulls hold their own up front?