After one forgettable performance and one full-throttle showing, Florida might give us a hint about which night was closer to its true performance level against North Texas on Saturday (7:30 p.m., ESPNU or WatchESPN).
Much as they were against UMass and Kentucky, the Gators should be the better team on the field in The Swamp tonight. Florida has too much talent on defense to expect the Mean Green, No. 92 nationally in yards per play and No. 119 in yards per attempt, to do much against the Gators. And what we saw from Florida’s offensive line after the insertion of freshman tackle Jawaan Taylor against Kentucky suggests that there might be a cohesive, competent lineup for the Gators to work with going forward -- although the absence of starting right guard Tyler Jordan, who will miss a few weeks after emergency eye surgery, might complicate that.
Even without Antonio Callaway, who seems unlikely to play — and shouldn’t — Florida probably has enough firepower to light up the night. But the most likely stumbling block for the Gators is a stingy Mean Green secondary, which has allowed opponents to complete just 45.7 percent of their passes, 14th-best nationally. (Of course, Florida’s allowed just a 38.7 percent completion rate, which is No. 2 in the country.)
I expect another blowout in this one, even if it’s not necessarily as thorough as the one Florida produced against Kentucky. But I know the Gators are going to look great ... in their uniforms, at least.
Here are my 25 predictions for Florida-North Texas.
- Florida will score at least 30 points.
- Florida will get to double figures in the first half.
- Florida will lead by at least 10 points at halftime.
- Luke Del Rio will throw at least two touchdown passes.
- Del Rio will not throw an interception.
- Del Rio will not be the only Florida QB to throw a pass.
- Mark Thompson will lead Florida in rushing yards.
- Florida will have at least one carry for more than 30 yards.
- Antonio Callaway will not play.
- Freshman wide receivers will combine for at least five catches.
- A Florida tight end will catch a touchdown pass.
- Florida will make a big play on special teams.
- Caleb Brantley will record at least one tackle for loss.
- Jabari Zuniga will record at least one sack.
- Alex Anzalone and Jarrad Davis will combine for more than 10 tackles.
- Anzalone will record at least half a sack.
- Teez Tabor will make a big play on defense.
- Florida will have at least one interception.
- Multiple North Texas quarterbacks will throw passes.
- North Texas will throw for fewer than 150 yards.
- Florida’s defense will allow fewer than 5.0 yards per play.
- Florida will force at least two turnovers.
- Florida will win the turnover battle.
- Eddy Pineiro will make at least two field goals.
- Florida will win, 41-6.
Your predictions and comments, as always, are welcomed. A reminder: Please be kind and treat your fellow commenters as you would your siblings.