Florida Preview: Let’s Earn Back That Swag
It’s finally happened folks, we have collected our shopping and have checked out of the NCAA supermarket, which is famous for their roast buckeyes, trojan condoms, crimson coloured textbooks, cheap suits and their (insert Miami football program food item here).
I’m glad we have finally been cleared, It was important for Chizik to stand up and get clarification on what the deal was a few months ago, it made him look like a fool in the media but it seemed like it jumpstarted the NCAA into making a decision about it, they haven’t left it open for four years like I thought they would, but being closed altogether is good enough for me.
It is now time to welcome back the match-up that is the Florida Gators, a team that has been our whipping boy for many years, ok I was just kidding there, Auburn leads the all-time series only slightly by 42-38-2, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t make it 43 wins over them on Saturday.
Florida walks into Jordan-Hare more beat up than Charlie Sheen’s wives on a typical Saturday night, The Gators are questionable at the quarterback position, but it’s not like we aren’t either. The Gators will either be playing Jacoby Brisset or Jeff Driskel, heck maybe even both, who knows? And we look to be sticking with Barrett Trotter, a lot have given up on Trotter due to his poor play, hell I’ll admit I’m not too fond of him playing on Saturday, but he is our Quarterback and we need to support him as the staff are still doing.
Right now both offenses are anaemic, as neither has scored many points in games lately, but in fairness to Florida they have played arguably the toughest defenses in the nation in back-to-back weeks, coming off physical games against The Tahd and The Purple Tigers, both of whom look pretty darn good right now.
For Auburn, it is huge that we get our offense going again, Malzahn is one of the best (and highest paid) offensive coordinators in college football, and he needs to prove that on Saturday. We have failed to score more than 30 points since the game against the Bulldogs, so we need to somehow get that swag back. Barrett needs to regain his confidence and play like he did the first few games of the season, the offense needs to balance out like it did in 2009, and right now that isn’t happening. We don’t have enough weapons at wide receiver right now for that to happen, and I’ll keep stressing the importance for a second man to step up and fill that role which we so desperately need right now.
Defensively, we just need more of the same. Apart from Joe Adams’ freak run last week we contained the Arkansas run game quite well, as we also did against South Carolina a week before. Florida have two dangerous weapons in Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps, both of which can bus off big runs just like Joe Adams did to us. Containing those two is massive, absolutely massive.
In the past, Auburn has had a habit of making poor/inexperienced Quarterbacks look like superstars (Mike Hartline, Chuckie Keeton etc.) and that cannot continue if we want to beat Florida. They are missing their best maestro in Brantley, so getting pressure on whoever starts for Florida will have to happen if we want to not only win, but improve defensively. We are half-way through the year, and showing improvement each week will be encouraging nonetheless.
The game will be interesting regarding several positions, Jake Holland got a bit banged up last week against the Hawgs, which meant Eltoro Freeman filled in for him in the mean time and played arguably, his best game in a long time. Will they keep Eltoro there, will Jake be healthy enough to retain his spot? Another player that is still questiionable is Emory Blake, if he doesn’t play (god forbid) then surely someone must step up to be the go to guy? We didn’t have that last week, and the pass game plummeted in spite of it, these receivers are on scholarship for an SEC program, so they are required to catch anything that is thrown to them, that is what they are here for!
Prediction: Auburn 20-16 Florida
I feel this game will be a lowscoring affair, with us (of course) pulling away right at the end. We aren’t totally inept, so getting Dyer going, as well as using our players effectively will garner us some important points, the defense also needs to be on their toes and not underestimate who they are going up against.
This game will be the difference between winning 8 and 6 games this season, win this game and we can then finish 8-4, lose and we will have to probably settle for 6 maybe 7 wins, in all honesty.
Be loud, be proud, and stay true! War Damn.