Another week in The Swamp presents the opportunity for another win for the No. 9 Florida Gators (4-0, 2-0). With kick off set for 4 p.m., the Gators will host the Towson Tigers (3-1, CAA) as they look for their ninth-straight victory.
It’s a cardinal sin to look over any opponent, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that Towson is an FCS school and the Gators enter Saturday as heavy favorites. If all goes well for Florida, they should be able to clean up the offense and get younger players some reps against these Tigers.
This week should be a great chance for Florida to build some more momentum as they head into a season-defining stretch of games.
Here’s the five Gators on the spot this week against Towson:
- Lamical Perine, Running back
He still leads Florida in rushing yards, but if you told me Lamical Perine would only have 182 yards through four games I would’ve said you’re crazy. It’s obviously still early in the season, but Perine is only averaging 3.8 yards per carry this year, a pretty significant drop off from his 6.2 mark a year ago. It’s not all his fault with the struggling offensive line and he’s still had some good carries, but Perine needs to get going for the Gators offense to take that next step. The Gators want the offense as a whole to clean things up and get clicking, but they need Perine to get hot. He figures to have to play a big role in key games down the stretch for Florida and it’s time for him to get going.
- Amari Burney, Linebacker
After having an impressive offseason, Amari Burney didn’t quite live up to the hype in Week 0 against Miami. He then suffered an injury that caused him to miss the next two games. But Burney returned last week with two takeaways and just looked more comfortable in Todd Grantham’s defense. Ventrell Miller’s status going into this week is in question, so that could provide the opportunity for Burney to get even more looks at linebacker. He’s shown he has a nose for the football with the takeaways and five tackles last week, now it’s a matter of Burney maintaining a consistent level of play.
- Offensive Line
We’re already into Week 5 of the college football season and Florida’s offensive line is still not playing up to standard. It’s been a story of inconsistency for the Gators line, as they’ve done well in pass-protection but have struggled mightily in run-blocking. The Gators ground attack was perceived to be their strength and vocal point of their offense, but so far in the season Dan Mullen has had to change the script. Individuals on the line are having success, with Brett Heggie winning SEC Offensive Lineman of the week last week and Stone Forsythe has graded out as one of the better left tackles in the nation. But the unit needs to put it all together. It’s been said time and time again, Florida needs to get the run game going. It starts with the guys up front and this week serves as a good chance to tune things up along the line before the Gators begin their daunting SEC stretch.
- Khris Bogle, Defensive lineman
Dan Mullen’s latest Signing Day steal is sure looking like a good one. Beating out the likes of Alabama, Miami and Tennessee for Khris Bogle is already paying off. Since he’s arrived on campus, there’s been a positive buzz around Bogle and it’s resulted in him seeing action in every game this year and won’t be redshirted. He looked like the touted recruit he was last week, as he recorded his first collegiate sack. Bogle applied good pressure to Tennessee last week and he should receive a good amount of reps against Towson to do the same. Look for Bogle to continue to get in the backfield this weekend and show why he might be next in line at the BUCK position.
- Emory Jones, Quarterback
There’s no question that Kyle Trask is the starter for the Gators, but they will continue to implement a two-quarterback system that will feature Emory Jones. The Gators used that system last week against Tennessee and Jones saw an extensive amount of work. However, Jones’ workload was pretty vanilla as he wasn’t asked to throw the ball downfield and there weren’t any designed runs for him. The ground game opened up with Jones under center, no question. Things could shape up to see Jones get his most amount of game reps this weekend. But Dan Mullen needs to let Jones throw the ball around the field more and let him use his legs. The time to take the training wheels off of Jones has to come sooner than later and with the Gators gearing up for their heavy SEC stretch, this week is a great opportunity to do so.