Each week, former Gator football player and now sports talk radio host Brady Ackerman will answer your questions about the Florida Gators. Whether it’s this week’s game or the game just played, no question is too hot for Brady to handle.
Brady: What changes do you think Florida made during the off-week?
I would prefer to call it “adjustments” in Florida’s game plan. The Gators don’t need to change anything, just adjust or tweak some things for the stretch drive. I think you will see more Tim Tebow because of his ability to run the football and move the chains and it will help get Florida more plays and time of possession. I think UF will tighten its coverage earlier because of the struggling Georgia passing game. Florida will be more aggressive this week in their blitz package. Finally, I think there will be some subtle changes to special teams that should solidify the kicking game.
Brady: Do you see any new wrinkles on offense this week?
I think the option will be part of the offense this week. It was very strong vs. Auburn and you could see that expand this week with Tebow. I also think Percy Harvin and Bubba Caldwell will be active in the passing game. Georgia’s defense is still pretty solid but has struggled in the last three games against the pass. Look for Chris Leak to get the ball down the field in this game with the intermediate passing game.
Ack: What’s wrong with Georgia this season?
First of all they have not had good quarterback play this year. They did not establish a legit guy in fall camp and Mark Richt has finally decided on freshman Mathew Stafford. He is very talented but will throw it to the other team under pressure. Georgia is near the bottom in turnover margin in the SEC and defensively Quentin Moses has not dominated like many people expected him to. The Georgia receivers lack an identity and really have not been a great group. Kenneth Harris emerged last week against Miss. State, but prior to that he had only four receptions all season.
Brady: What do you think of the BCS?
I think it’s obvious that Ohio State and Michigan will play in the title game. USC is in good shape and looks better after seeing some struggles this weekend to future opponents Oregon, Cal, Notre Dame and UCLA. I do think they will lose and Florida can get into the mix if the Gators can win out. Florida will be favored in every game left on their schedule and after this week maybe the toughest opponent is South Carolina. That game is at home where Meyer has not lost as Gator coach. Number 4 through 11 is still very tight in the BCS poll and the situation can change each week as the computers compute strength of schedule.
Ack: Any early thoughts on what to watch for against Georgia?
If UF can duplicate its start against Auburn they could win this game in a walk-over. Georgia is 84th in the country in total offense and the Gators will load up on the run once again. With a young quarterback I think it is important for the Gators to attack on defense early. Offensively I cannot see any reason UF won’t throw the ball on the Dogs. I would like to see Mullen give Chris Leak some early completions to get him into the game mentally. I think it is tough for a quarterback to throw the ball just nine times in three quarters then ask him to go win the game in the fourth quarter with his arm. Quarterbacks need to get the feel of the game much like running backs and I think a plan that includes screens and quick passes keeps Leak in the flow throughout the game.
Brady: Which stat jumps out at you about Georgia?
Well first it’s that a Mark Richt offense is 84th in the country in total offense. But after that I would say eight touchdown passes versus 10 interceptions for the Dogs quarterbacks. To take that one step further, Georgia quarterbacks have thrown seven second half interceptions this season alone. The Dogs are completing just 46 percent of their third down passes for the entire season. The passing game is very average, which is why the Gators must be good against the run.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Florida should be favored in all the games left on the schedule which should put the Gators in Atlanta. Urban Meyer is building a strong resume’ with tough teams and home dominance. To expand that resume’ and truly become an elite coach he must win the games he is supposed to win. Great teams take care of business and great coaches prepare there teams the same way as favorites or under dogs. Other than the loss at South Carolina, UF has been very good in games they should win. Let’s see if Meyer can get his team to finish the job in the SEC and get the Gators to the SEC title game.
Please check out College Kickoff on Friday Night on SunSports at 7 p.m. for a preview of the game. Our post game show with interviews and Coach Meyer’s press conference follows the conclusion of Saturday’s game. Join me along with Whit Watson, Terry Norvelle, David Steele, Nat Moore, Steve Babik and Todd Lewis for all the coverage on Sun Sports this weekend.