According to a CBSSports.com report on Friday August 30, Toledo wide receiver Bernard Reedy stated that the “Gators don’t go as hard in the second half of games.” It would be one thing if he was just making an observation as a football player. However, Reedy has been watching plenty of film on the Gators because they play on Saturday afternoon.
As of now, the Florida Gators are 23.5 point favorites, and they’ll look to cover the spread in the first half. Honestly, Reedy and the Toledo Rockets can give the Gators a game for awhile, especially if the defense plays well. He did qualify his statement by saying they’ll need to keep it close so maybe they can “wear them down” in the second half. Reedy has the ability to make plays against the Gators defense on Saturday.
What should concern Florida the most, is the offense. Last season, the Florida offense was laughable for most of the season. They ranked 112th in passing and relied on an adequate running game and strong defense. Even with a 11-2 record, the Gators have a lot of improving to do.
Florida should be able to take advantage of Toledo’s defensive liability in the passing game. If they can’t, it could be a long day for the Gators. As a one dimensional team, the Gators will have to rely on turnovers as a necessity.
Quarterback, Terrance Owens has to play solidly without turning the ball over. The Gators thrive off of opponents mistakes, and their athletic ability on defense can swarm the line of scrimmage.
Once Toledo gets used to the speed of the game, they should be alright. One major factor in early season games, is the cramping up by numerous players. As this is a day game in Florida, watch out for the mass substitutions.
The Verdict: The Florida Gators played a similar game against Bowling Green last year and won it in a dominating fourth quarter. Florida won 3 games by more than 23 points last year, so most of their games are close throughout. Still, Florida will find enough plays to win at home.