After falling in the season opener to Michigan, the Gators football team is looking to notch its first win of the season. They’re looking to do so in their home opener as they host Northern Colorado. The game is scheduled to be Florida’s first ever official white-out.
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) September 7, 2017
Feleipe Franks made his debut against Michigan, and has been named the starter by Jim McElwain. He went 5-for-9 in Dallas before getting pulled for transfer Malik Zaire. Combined, the Florida offense threw for only 181 yards.
They’ll be looking to improve on that against the Bears, and may look to the run game to do so. Michigan dominated the line of scrimmage against Florida, and didn’t allow them to develop a run game.
Florida didn’t have Jordan Scarlett for that game, and won’t have him for this one either, as the suspensions from last week continue for this one, except for James Robinson. That means the Gators will have to rely again on Lamical Perine and look for production from someone who steps up. A likely candidate would be Malik Davis, who saw limited action last week, but is someone McElwain has raved about.
#Gators Release Unofficial Depth Chart for Home Opener
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) September 5, 2017
On defense, the unit performed well until they got worn in the second half. The two pick-sixes via Duke Dawson and Chris Henderson gave the team some momentum before Chris Evans and the Michigan offensive line took over.
Against the Bears, they’ll be looking to get more of a pass rush, as well as monitoring the health of their safeties. Nick Washington has been nursing a shoulder injury, while Chauncey Gardner left last week’s game with an injury. Luckily for Florida, he is expected to be on the field for this one.
The Bears opened the season on a better note than Florida. They took down College of Idaho 41-14 in their season opener and are looking to continue that momentum with an upset in the Swamp.
— Northern Colorado FB (@UNCBearsFB) September 3, 2017
On offense, the team is led by junior quarterback Jacob Knipp. Against College of Idaho, he had a solid performance, going 17-of-27 for 238 yards. In addition, he reached the end zone on a one-yard touchdown run.
On defense, the team likes to force turnovers just like Florida. Last week, the team forced two interceptions, just like the Gators. Linebacker Luke Nelson and Cornerback Isaiah Swopes recorded the two picks for the Bears.
Kick off is at 12 p.m. Saturday. The game time has been moved up due to Hurricane Irma.