Gators vs. Canes Mailbag

For the Gators, week two means a trip down to South Florida for a matchup with the Miami Hurricanes. For me, week two brings another mailbag that I must read, break down and tackle in the open field.

Here’s my best shot.

Q: How are the backup defensive line players doing/ progressing?

A: Cox and McCalister are featured in the rotation and will be so for the rest of the season. McCalister will have a little tougher time getting reps being behind Fowler and Powell at BUCK but Cox Jr., spells Bullard and is the first to come in behind him at defensive end. Jay-Nard Bostwick, Joey Ivie, Caleb Brantley, Antonio Riles and Jordan Sherit did not play against Toledo. Personally, I think Sherit and Ivie are redshirt candidates.

Q: What was the on-field temperature for the Toledo game?

A: The temperature we were told was 87 degrees, 7 mph winds and a 68% humidity level.

Q: How porous is the Miami defense? Will Florida’s ground and pound offense have success?

A: Miami allowed FAU to rush for 133 yards last week. The Owls had the 111th ranked rushing offense in the country a year ago (110.58 ypg), pretty porous if you ask me. I think Florida should have no trouble running all over the Canes defense and you will see a very run-heavy attack for the Gators.

Q: Was the “vanilla” offense against Toledo what we should expect all season or were the coaches holding back in preparation for Miami?

A: That’s Florida’s offense. The plan every game is to get the lead and then hold onto the ball as long as you can on offense to keep the lead. You’ll see some nuances throughout the season in the offensive gameplan, but what you saw against Toledo is what you should expect from the Florida offense.

Get the lead, run the ball. Rinse and repeat.

Q: Will the Gators mix up their defensive schemes more against Miami than they did against Toledo?

A: Yes. You’ll see more blitzes and more exotic blitz packages from Florida this Saturday. I still think you’ll get a lot of nickel defense and Florida’s corners will still play press coverage like they do every week.

Q: Do you see the offense opening up vs. Miami or will it be another all-run type of day?

A: Florida could take some shots early but they’re going to try to keep Miami’s offense off of the field as much as possible. That means running the football to control the clock. And like we said before, when Florida gets a lead they’re going to run the ball back onto the bus and all the way back to Gainesville.

Q: Do you believe that Will Muschamp instructs Brent Pease to keep the offense conservative?

A: It’s Muschamp’s team but I think both coaches are on the same page.

Q: Will Demarcus Robinson and Ahmad Fulwood become more involved in the offense?

A: Yes.

Q: What concerns do the coaches have in facing Miami?

A: Stephen Morris, Duke Johnson and some fast, athletic receivers.

Q: Will Antonio Morrison be in good game shape for Miami?

A: Yes, he should be ready.

Q: How much drop-off is there from Koehne to Halapio?

A: There is enough that Halapio is and has been the unquestioned starter for three seasons.

Q: Who were the freshmen that played?

A: True freshmen: Chris Thompson, Nick Washington, Vernon Hargreaves III, Ahmad Fulwood, Demarcus Robinson, Kelvin Taylor, Alex Anzalone and Jarrad Davis.

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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