There’s an old saying around college football that a team makes its most improvement from game one to game two. That old saying is pretty stupid. For every team that jumps up with a great second week, there are a dozen others that get better at mid-season and still others that play their best at the end of the year.
That said improvement is something everyone looks for from week to week, not only among teams but with the units within the team and the individuals within those units. If enough guys in enough places show significant improvement, the team will be a lot better. If that happens week in and week out you can have a special season. If not, it’ll be time for another old saying. Wait ‘till next year.
With that in mind, here are six Gators I think will do a whole lot more in week two against UCF than they did against Southern Miss. And I’m not cheating by putting Marcus Thomas and Steven Harris on the list.
Jarvis Moss —– The uber-talented junior defensive end didn’t get much done in the opener. Three tackles and one QB pressure is a decent half, but not much of a game. With the veteran tackles due mach to create some inside push, Moss should explode. Add in the fact that UCF’s offensive line is not close to being as good as that of Southern Miss.
Tim Tebow —– Two plays, one touchdown. That’s darn good percentage but that work load is not nearly enough to get the talented QB ready to play in Knoxville if needed. There is no QB controversy, but there needs to be more experience on the bench. I expect Florida to score more points this week, so that should open the door for Tebow to have two or three possessions… unless of course the clock never stops running.
Joe Cohen —– Big Joe played a ton against Southern Miss but was in on just one tackle. He probably was trying to pace himself with Thomas and Harris out, but that won’t be a factor Saturday. Cohen had an excellent pre-season camp and Saturday night he begins putting that productivity into a game situation. Look for Cohen to make more plays in fewer chances this week.
Cornelius Ingram —– Southern Miss paid a lot of attention to Ingram in the opener and held the talented receiver to just one catch. Thus Dallas Baker was rarely double-teamed and caught nine passes for 123 yards. I don’t think UCF will commit a safety to Ingram, preferring instead to offer deep help against Baker and/or Caldwell. Thus Ingram should get the linebacker match up the Gators are hoping for.
Jarred Fayson —– Fayson and Percy Harvin have been the early stars of the class of ’06, but it was Harvin getting all the opportunities in the first game with four carries and three receptions. Fayson had no such chances, but I got feeling he’ll get four or five touches against the Golden Knights.
Mon Williams —– He’s one of only two fully healthy running backs for the Gators in this one and he didn’t play last week. The playbook has to be trimmed down while Williams learns what’s going on around him, but he has the best combination of physical gifts of all the Gator runners. He may not do it this weekend, but at some point in the not-too-distant future Williams will become the first Gator to return a kickoff for a touchdown since Bo Carroll in 1999.
So there’s a six-pack of guys who should really step it up in game two. And if they do, Florida looks like a much more dangerous team heading to Knoxville.