If you have read my analysis in my previous posts, you will notice that I spent very little time discussing the Gator offense and how to stop them. That is because the only way I can think of is to keep them on the bench. So I focused on our offense against their defense. It was more comfortable for me this way as well! Their offense is ridiculously explosive and will score points on anybody. They can be held under 30 points, but it will require a great effort on our defense and an edge in the turnover margin and no blocked punts or touchdowns on returns. Like Halloween, their are plenty of scary things to think about with their offensive skill players, their return man Brandon James and their knack for blocking punts.
In truth, we won't stop them often. So, the only way to beat them is to outscore them. That is why I devoted way too much time to trying to determine if we will be able to score enough points to win this thing. I have gained confidence that we will be able to approach and probably exceed 400 yards in total offense. But, the key will be if we can convert this into touchdowns. I think that the balance we have on offense and the significant improvement we have experienced since Southerland has returned from injury will help us find the endzone when we get to the red zone. It will be a windy day, so kicking field goals can be risky, but I also like our chances with Walsh if we need to kick. Stafford's experience in recognizing defenses and getting us in the right plays will have to be peaking in this game for us to capitalize on every scoring opportunity we get. We absolutely cannot leave points on the field in this game.
I am confiedent we will get to 30 points. I feel like we will beed to get to about 35 or 38 points to win. We may need help from our defense or return teams to get that extra score. Or, we could flip the scrip and have Zac Renner get in there and block one of their punts.
I am running out of time here... got to go out and get a couple of beers. Priorities you know!
I think we have one secret weapon on defense and that is Bryan Evans. Not as a corner - he is a liability there. As a safety, he will be the surprise of this game. He is the fastest defender we have and he is very effective on run support. He is just the guy to have out there to track down there speedsters. He is a Jacksonville native and he will be amped up to make some plays in this game. I think he will.
Here is another point I wish to make. If we ever get in a 3rd and forever (like 15 to 20 yards) we need to send Green 50 yards down the middle and have Stafford throw a rainbow out there and let Green try to out jump the Gator defenders. If we catch it, hooray! If they catch it, okay - better than punting to them!
Here is my final answer: Dawgs win the turnover margin by one and win the game by 3. DAWGS 38 - Gators 35.