Cocktail party mailbag

You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers. It’s Florida-Georgia weekend which means we’re defying the city of Jacksonville and still calling it the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.

The Bulldogs and Gators meet in Gainesville this week with identical 4-3 (3-2 SEC) records and both teams need a win to keep their slim hopes of representing the eastern division in Atlanta for the SEC Championship game.

Before the game kicks off in EverBank Field, we’ll tackle the questions you guys posted for us in this weeks mailbag.

SurfGator & G8aor22: Is Todd Gurley playing this week and is he 100%?

A: Gurley will play this week. The Georgia coaching staff hasn’t indicated how well Gurley’s battered ankle is but it’s unlikely that he’s 100%. Still, Gurley is a dangerous player (the only running back to surpass 100-yards rushing against Florida last season) and someone the Gators need to gameplan for.

Gator_nica: Who is hurting worse; Florida or Georgia?

A: If you go by sheer numbers it’s probably Georgia. If you go by the impact that those missing players have it’s Florida hands down. Florida lost a starting right tackle and a record-setting kick returner before the season began. Since then the Gators have have lost their starting quarterback, running back and defensive tackle for the season.

The loss of Dominique Easley is really hurting the Gators rush defense and not having depth behind Tyler Murphy is really handcuffing what Brent Pease can dial up on offense. Jon Halapio isn’t 100% healthy and you can tell. It’s been an unbelievably frustrating season for the Gators. I know that football is a physical game and you need to account for injuries but there is no way to plan for what has happened to Florida this season.

MrB-Gator: Which players are redshirts this season? Did Florida pull Octavius Jackson’s redshirt?

A: No. Jackson hasn’t played yet. If he does play that will burn his redshirt status. He has been talked about as a possible player who could play if need be but the coaching staff would like to maintain his redshirt if at all possible.

Florida has played 10 true freshmen this season: Alex Anzalone, Johnny Townsend, Jarrad Davis, Ahmad Fulwood, Vernon Hargreaves, Daniel McMillian, Keanu Neal, Demarcus Robinson and Kelvin Taylor. The rest of the freshman class is currently redshirt eligible (including Nick Washington via medical hardship).

Fdelat1: Who will be in the defensive line rotation?

A: Dante Fowler, Darious Cummings, Damien Jacobs, Leon Orr, Jon Bullard and Bryan Cox Jr. Will Muschamp also said on his Thursday call-in radio show that Joey Ivie and Jay-nard Bostwick will play this week. It would be the first game action for either freshman.

G8or22: How does the Humphries injury affect Florida?

A: Tyler Moore will replace Humphries at left tackle. Moore was taken out of the game at right tackle against Missouri after making Michael Sam look like an NFL Hall of Famer. Moore has struggled mightily this season and having him protect Tyler Murphy’s blindside is less than ideal (and that’s putting it nicely).

Rapid fire with Gatordon: Trenton Brown struggled earlier in the year, has he improved since then?

A: The players and coaches said he has improved. Going up against Bullard and Fowler in practice is no easy task and facing that level of competition every day in practice will help him develop.

Q: Why has it taken so long for the staff to recognize Kelvin Taylor as their best option at running back?

A: Taylor is talented with the ball in his hands but he isn’t Florida’s most complete running back. I think we never saw a truly healthy Matt Jones who is a much better pass blocker than Taylor is. Regardless, it’s Taylor time in Gainesville for better or worse. I think the freshman will rise to the occasion.

Q: There were reports about a sideline altercation during the Missouri game, have those issues been addressed?

A: I was told that those reports were blown out of proportion. It was simply Antonio Morrison and some defensive backs in the heat of the moment on the sideline. There is no bad blood or dissension there.

Q: How physically ready is Tyler Murphy for this game? Will his shoulder affect his game?

A: It shouldn’t affect him. We’ll see how this new offensive line can protect him though.

Q: Will the younger receivers see much playing time against Georgia?

A: Yes, but I expect the Gators to feature the running game heavily in this one. Moore and Brown have been suspect in pass protection this season and it’s much easier to ask them to run block.

Previous articleUnique opportunity for Kurtz, Walker
Next articleAsk the quarterback
Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC