#24 Florida(1-0) vs. Texas A&M(0-0)
The selection of games this weekend is a little weak as it has no ranked match-ups. I had trouble deciding between Georgia-Missouri and Florida-Texas A&M, and I eventually went with the latter.
Florida didn’t look very good in their opener, but there were things that were promising. Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel completed 10 of 16 passes for 114 yards and had a very important fourth-quarter 50 yard touchdown. Mike Gillislee averaged 6.2 yards per carry on his way to 148 yards and two touchdowns. The offense clicked in the second half, but had a good amount of trouble waking up in the first half. One can assume Florida will not have that problem in this game. Another liability for Florida suprisingly is their defense. The 27-14 score does not show the two missed field goals by the Bowling Green Falcons. Another missed fact may be that Bowling Green only had 38 less yards than Florida(365-327). Florida’s defense did clamp down near the red zone and that is a quality that will help the Gators immensely. Another great help to Florida will be coach Will Muschamp’s former job as defensive coordinator of the Texas Longhorns. Texas A&M runs an “air raid” offense which very strongly stresses passing plays and that is alien to the SEC conference, but Muschamp had to defend against the “air raid” offenses of the Big-12 conference every week. He should know how to coach the Florida defense to limit big plays and keep the Aggies’ passing attack under control.
Texas A&M was not able to play its opening game due to bad weather. The Aggies will be starting Johnny Manziel, a freshman quarterback, and he hasn’t had even a second of playing time. Another interesting fact is that Manziel will be the first freshman quarterback to start a season opener at Texas A&M in 68 years. Luckily for the Aggies, this game will be played at their stadium in College Station, Texas. Florida won’t be intimidated much, though, so don’t count on that being a game-changer. Texas A&M does have other intangibles on their side. The biggest of those is probably the fact that it wants to prove it is a team that belongs in the SEC. The media has talked extensively about Missouri and Texas A&M not belonging in the conference and both schools will be determined to prove the world wrong on that matter. Texas A&M did lose Cyrus Gray, a 1000+ yard rusher, but it still has Christine Michael. Michael looks like he could be as good or better than Gray, so maybe the Aggies will be fine in the rushing department.
This has the makings of a good game. Texas A&M is known for having a high scoring offense every year and although Florida’s offense finished last year ranked 105th in the FBS, Florida is a proud team that responds well to pressure. Florida also has a great deal of talent that Muschamp can work with. It should be a great, entertaining game.
I respect Texas A&M but former starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill(drafted in the first round by the Miami Dolphins) is a tough act to follow for Manziel. Texas A&M will suffer greatly from not having a warm-up game and they will be severely punished for any mishaps on offense. I feel that this game will be close and could be a high-scoring affair. I have to give the edge to the Gators in a game that both teams will fight their hearts out to win.
Agree? Disagree? Have your own prediction? Let me know in the comments.
GOTW record: 1-0
-Marty F. Nemec