TARGET FILE: at Florida [11.15.08]

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Well, given the way Florida is talked about this year, and the lack of time I have, I could do this to preview Florida.

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But, no, I refuse to take the easy way out. So here we go.

OFFENSE (TIM TEBOW)

Offensive line. Perhaps the one position Tim Tebow could not play. Three starters return to a unit that allowed just one sack a game in 2007 and, of course, made all those holes for Tim Tebow to run through. There might be weaknesses in this offense; this ain't one of them. ADVANTAGE: FLORIDA

Quarterback.

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ADVANTAGE: FLORIDA

Running backs. This one is trickier. We haven't seen Emmanuel Moody since 2006, when he had 79 carries for 459 yards and two scores for the other USC. Kestahn Moore returns -- for whatever that's worth -- after rushing for 580 yards and 6 TDs. It's hard to tell how good either South Carolina or Florida is. Tim Tebow will also run a bit. ADVANTAGE: PUSH

Wide receivers. Percy Harvin. You could leave it at that; he's Reggie Bush Lite. Harvin had 83 rushes for 764 yards and 6 TDs and 59 receptions for 858 yards and four more scores last year. Assuming he's healthy for the South Carolina game -- and at this point you almost have to -- he does more than cancel out Kenny McKinley. McKinley doesn't bring that second dimension to the game. That said, not having tight end Cornelius Ingram will hurt. Oh, and the receivers will be catching passes thrown by Tim Tebow. ADVANTAGE: FLORIDA

DEFENSE

Defensive line. The most impressive player here is Jermaine Cunningham, who had 12 TFL, including 6.5 sacks. There are two returning starters and three sophomores here. Don't expect Florida to rank 10th in rush defense again, but don't expect the bottom to drop out, either. After all, they don't have to face Tim Tebow. ADVANTAGE: PUSH

Linebackers. Brandon Spikes was a monster, with 131 tackles, 16 for loss, and seven pass break-ups last year -- the Tim Tebow of the defense, if you will. He's got injury issues right now, too, but should be healed up for South Carolina. Dustin Doe is also pretty good. ADVANTAGE: PUSH

Secondary. Um, this unit wasn't very good. And Dennis Kucinich is sligthly left of center. Pass efficiency defense? 71st in the FBS, 128.72. Oh, and they're hurt. This is where you can hurt the Gators -- and the only chance most teams will have at keeping up with Tebow and Co. ADVANTAGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

SPECIAL TEAMS

Tim Tebow does not make or return kicks. So why do we care? But if you do, Joey Ijjas is gone after a year in which he was a solid, if not great, kicking option. Punter Chas Henry averaged 39.3 yards a kick. Brandon James was great on punt returns (18.1 per) and good on kickoff returns (28.0 per). ADVANTAGE: PUSH

COACHING

We have a small sample set to work with here, but we can guess that Urban Meyer is pretty good. Yes, undefeated season at Utah, national title at Florida, etc. But: What has he done with his recruits? Is the potential there to change that this year? Absolutely. But let's see it first. ADVANTAGE: PUSH

RESULT

Don't let those "pushes" on defense fool you: This is the superior team. The Gamecocks' offense won't be able to keep up, even though the defense should keep the game from getting too far out of hand. LIKELY LOSS

THE REST OF THEIR SEASON

I am not one of those who believes that Florida will win the national title. They cannot navigate a schedule that includes at Tennessee, vs. LSU, Georgia and South Carolina without one loss, and probably not without two. The defense will get scorched badly in a couple of games, and it will cost the Gators. But it should still be a great season. 10-2

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