Gators aim to chomp down on Minutemen
The Florida Gators have captured 26 straight season openers. Does upstart UMass pose any sort of threat to the reigning SEC East champs capable of halting such a prolific run?
Jim McElwain’s crew hosts the Minutemen tomorrow night. According to oddsmakers at online sports book BetDSI, UFA represents a 35-point favorite at the moment. The over/under is 60.5.
Despite the lopsided matchup on paper, the Gators do have a number of things on which to focus in Week 1. Quarterback Luke Del Rio, for instance, will make his first college start. The coaching staff gave the redshirt sophomore the job over Purdue transfer Austin Appleby several days ago.
Even if Del Rio fails to light up the Swamp right away, Florida shouldn’t have may problems moving the ball downfield vs. Massachusetts group that has gone 6-18 over the last two seasons. Mark Whipple’s program opened last season by losing eight of its first nine games, getting absolutely thrashed by Notre Dame, Colorado and Bowling Green State. It doesn’t help matters that they field only 13 seniors and graduate students on the roster.
There’s always the threat of a borderline disinterred Gators team in the second half. Given the coaching staff’s desire to get Del Rio acclimated to the offense as soon as possible, though, Florida could stay more aggressive than usual in a blowout-type situation. Go with UF.
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