Hey Canes fans! As I eluded to yesterday in my video, this year we will be launching a weekly Q&A segment with other Maven's across the country. We like to call it, Get to Know Your Enemy. It will feature each week's Canes opponent all throughout the 2019 football season - and what a week to get it started.
Week zero is finally here! With the Canes getting ready to take on the Florida Gators this Saturday at 7 P.M., at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, CaneMaven was joined by Zach Goodall of GatorMaven to discuss the Gators and what he expects to happen this weekend. You can then go check out what I had to say about the Canes for his Q&A session here.
Here we go, let's get to know our enemy!
1. What is your outlook for the Gators offensively? Will coach Mullen call plays or continue to share those duties with his assistants? Who's standing out on offense?
Zach Goodall: The skill players on the Gators offense make up one of the most talented and deep groups in the nation, but of course, it will take consistency from quarterback Feleipe Franks and functional offensive line play in order to utilize the skill positions to their full potential.
The Gators are confident in the former, as Franks has taken more control and matured entering 2019, but the latter is a question mark. The OL is one injury away from putting a true freshman on the field, depending on position. Mullen loves the flexibility that comes with allowing others to call plays when they see an advantage on the field, so it should be split between him and five assistants.
2. QB Feleipe Franks has struggled before in big games. What have you seen from him this fall that suggests he will be more consistent?
ZG: He appears confident and his teammates can vouch for it. He's been willing and open to learning from his mistakes and has grown more comfortable within the system - one that utilizes his strengths. Now, it's time to see if his new-found confidence and leadership will transition to the game field.
3. The transfer portal has been both good and bad for both programs. With the recent dismissals and transfers, how does that affect the depth and which position does it affect most?
ZG: The portal has helped the Gators rebuild their BUCK pass rushing position - after losing Jachai Polite to the NFL, the Gators have added former Louisville pass rusher Jonathan Greenard and former Georgia Bulldog linebacker Brenton Cox Jr. Both will play BUCK, with Greenard starting this year and Cox Jr. contributing as soon as he becomes eligible. However, the portal has hurt their secondary depth, as Florida lost Chris Steele and Brian Edwards to the portal as well as John Huggins (dismissal from the team). Should any cornerbacks go down in Florida's secondary, true freshmen will see the field.
4. Who are some players Miami fans need to be aware of on Florida's defense beyond Jabari Zuniga and Chris Henderson, and why?
ZG: David Reese II is the undoubted leader of the defense, playing MIKE linebacker and being a key communicator. His ability to play the run is huge and balances well with MONEY linebacker Amari Burney, a former safety who's more polished in coverage. Marco Wilson is back at cornerback opposite of Henderson, after tearing his ACL early last season. Wilson is a special man coverage cornerback who broke up 10 passes as a freshman. Look for Greenard to create lots of pressure as well.
5. Where do you believe Florida has the edge over Miami? Matchup-wise or positionally?
ZG: I think Florida has the edge over Miami at most positions when you compare roster to roster, but Miami's front seven will be a challenge for Florida's new-look offensive line. Other than center Nick Buchanan, this is a totally different OL unit than what we saw a year ago, so guys like Jon Garvin and Shaq Quarterman will have chances to affect the ball-game plenty.
6. Your prediction for Saturday?
ZG: Florida 31, Miami 13.
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