With so many coaching rumors swirling around the Florida football program, fans have forgotten that Florida has a game this weekend. The Florida Gators will host the UAB Blazers who are having a very good season. The Blazers are in their first season after the football program was shut down after the 2014 season. This game will be much more of a challenge than what Gators fans anticipated before the season. Either way, this is a game the Florida Gators should win and snap their five-game losing streak. Here are four keys how the Florida Gators to knock off the UAB Blazers.
Stop the UAB rushing attack
The UAB Blazers are one of the top rushing offense in the country. They average 209.8 rushing yards per game and are ranked 29th in the nation in rushing yards per game. The UAB rushing attack is led by their true freshman running back Spencer Brown. The Alabama native has 207 carries for 1177 yards and ten touchdowns. Their quarterback, A.J. Erdely, is another player who ran run the rock. The redshirt-junior quarterback has 102 carries for 290 yards and a team leading 12 rushing touchdown. The Florida defense will need to keep a spy on the quarterback and keep their containment. The defensive line has had issues keeping containment which gives the quarterback a running lane. If Florida can shut down the running game, the UAB offense will be forced to throw the ball which is not their strong suit.
Win in the trenches
The Florida offensive and defensive line came into this season with a lot of hype and promise. It’s safe to say that both have been a disappointment with exception of a few players. In order for the Gators to win Saturday, they are going to have win in the trenches. The Florida offensive line needs to create rushing lanes for Lamical Perine and give Feleipe Franks a clean pocket. The O-line will be without two of their starters but the UAB defensive isn’t very good. UAB’s defensive line only has 13 total sacks. The Florida defensive line needs to really make some plays. The Gators will need a big game from Taven Bryan and Cece Jefferson. They are Florida’s best healthy defensive lineman and need to apply pressure to A.J. Erdely.
Get off to a hot start
One of the many things that the Florida Gators have struggled with is getting off to a strong start. In a game like this, the Florida Gators are going to have to start this game with all the momentum. The UAB Blazers will come into this game with a lot of fire and confidence in themselves. The best way to shut them up is by coming out guns blazing and score first. If the Gators draw first blood and continue to dominate, you’ll see some quit on the other sideline and Florida could put some points on the scoreboard. If Florida starts off slow and UAB gets hot, this could be a very long day for the Gators. Florida has remind themselves that they play for the University of Florida and a team like UAB shouldn’t even compete with a big name program like Florida.
Play like Florida Gators
When players commit to the University of Florida, they go to UF because they know the winning tradition and want to win championships. The Florida Gators need to remember where they are and how many great athletes have come out of Florida. The Gators have way more talented players than UAB. This is a game Florida should handle but I am sure everybody remembers what happened against Georgia Southern just a few years ago. Florida can’t play down to their competition. Go out there and start showing people that this is still the University of Florida. The Gators will also need this win to gain some confidence before their in-state rivals Florida State. Snap the five-game skid and get ready for the Seminoles as this could be the year Florida snaps that losing streak as well.