On Saturday night, The Florida Gators will open their season vs. the UMASS Minutemen on the SEC Network at 7:30pm. Here’s what to expect out of the Gators vs. UMASS. The Gators are expected to completely dominate the Minutemen in the Gators’ season opener. Both quarterbacks will be making their debuts as Luke Del Rio (Gators) is a redshirt-sophomore and Ross Comis (Minutemen) is also a redshirt-sophomore. For the Gators, this is a test to see how good Luke Del Rio is, how the Gators’ OL plays and Eddy Pineiro kick 50+ yard field goals. For UMASS, expect them to have a tough time on offense, the defensive backs to get burnt by the speedy Gator receivers and UMASS to get their butts whipped, and go home.
The Del Rio Era
Saturday night will be a big game for Gators fans to see how well Luke Del Rio plays, which running back performs best and Eddy Pineiro kick some bombs. Luke Del Rio will be making his first start in his college career after beating Purdue transfer, Austin Appleby, for the starting job. Luke Del Rio was an Alabama and Oregon State transfer who saw some playing time at Oregon State. Del Rio is a smart, accurate quarterback that makes smart decisions and does a very good job of not turning the ball over. Gators fans should expect not a lot of deep balls but, a lot of completed passes to keep the chains moving.
Even though, the Gators have their starting QB, they still do not have their starting running back. The competition will continue into the UMASS game as Jordan Scarlett, Mark Thompson and Jordan Cronkrite will get a good amount of carries. Do not be surprised if you also see true freshman RB, Lamical Perine get carries. Mark Thompson has all of the skill and size to want out of a RB but, his biggest issue is ball security. I expect Jordan Cronkrite to be the starting RB at the end of the day but, don’t expect that decision to be made after the UMASS game.
Is Pineiro the Answered Prayer?
Gators fans should be extremely excited to see their new kicker, Eddy Pineiro. Eddy Pineiro is a JUCO transfer from ASA College (Miami). He is best known for his 70+ yard field goal videos. He was originally an Alabama commit but flipped to Florida before National Signing Day. In the spring game, Eddy went 3-5 on field goal attempts. Eddy was making 52 and 56 yard field goals with plenty of distance. The Gators didn’t have a kicker last season and really needed him.
When he flipped to the Gators, the fans went crazy on Twitter because they know they needed a kicker and they believe he is the answer to their prayers. This is also is first college game because he was originally a soccer player who transitioned to football. His only football game was ASA College’s spring game. He went 4-4 on his field goals.
What UMASS Brings To The Fight
For those who do not know but about the UMASS Minutemen, the UMASS Minutemen are a NCAA D-1 FBS school which means they are a small D-1 university. UMASS QB Ross Comis has never started a college football game but has some experience against some great schools. Comis went 8-8 for 69 yards and a touchdown against Notre Dame. Expect him to have a rough game because of how much more talented the Gators’ DBs are. The UMASS coaches seem to be excited about Ross and they believe this game will be a good test. He shows great leadership but needs to work on his decision making. He can run a little bit but, don’t expect that bother the Gators defense.
UMASS will lean on the running game with Marquis Young who had a nice season last year. UMASS did add a lot of defensive JUCO players to help out with their defense. Expect UMASS to take some chances in the game to give UMASS some momentum and confidence.
5 Things to Expect Out of the Game
- Luke Del Rio throws 250+ yards and no INTs.
- Dre Massey and Brandon Powell cause havoc in the UMASS secondary.
- Ross Comis struggle throwing the ball.
- Jordan Scarlett and Mark Thompson get most of the carries.
- Gators blowout UMASS and prepare for Kentucky next week.
Final Score: Gators 51 UMASS 7