5 things Texas A&M fans need to know about Florida: Will Gators' D pose a threat to Kellen Mond? – Dallas News (blog)
Here are five things Texas A&M fans need to know about the Florida Gators before the teams square off Saturday:
Key players out: The Gators could be without five starters (and more) Saturday. And that doesn’t include Luke Del Rio, the former starting quarterback who suffered a season-ending injury a couple of weeks ago.
Senior safety Nick Washington was ruled out after aggravating his shoulder against LSU. At Monday’s press conference, Florida head coach Jim McElwain said offensive lineman Brett Heggie is doubtful, while wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland (ankle), defensive back Chauncey Gardner (ankle) and linebacker Jeremiah Moon are listed as questionable and didn’t practice Monday.
Kadarious Toney (not a starter) is highly questionable, McElwain said. The freshman provides a spark for the oft-stagnant Florida offense, so losing him would also be massive. Top receiver Antonio Callaway is among players still suspended for alleged credit card fraud.
Don’t be fooled by the talk on Florida’s defense: Florida typically possesses one of the top defenses in the country. On the other hand, its offense is almost always putrid. While the offense is holding its end of the bargain (by not doing so), the defense isn’t meeting expectations.
The Gators’ defense does have its moments, though. At first, the Florida defense outscored its offense touchdown-wise through the first couple of games. Freshman cornerback C.J. Henderson became the first Florida player since 1965 to register pick-sixes in back-to-back contests. But beyond turnovers, the Gators’ D isn’t getting it done.
Per game, the Gator defense allows 24.2 points (53rd), 156 rushing yards (71st), 217.2 passing yards (54th) and 373.2 total yards (55th). Keep in mind, Florida’s faced the Nos. 84, 109, 101 and 126 teams in total offense. So if Kellen Mond can find success against Alabama’s defense, he shouldn’t be too fazed by Saturday’s opponent.
Efficient in the red zone: Although both sides of the ball are