A weather-canceled opener coupled with last year’s season-ending, seven-game losing streak has left unranked Florida with plenty of pent-up energy.
The Gators are ready to unleash against Eastern Michigan on Saturday (4 p.m., SEC Network), with senior linebacker Michael Taylor saying, “Pray for them.”
“Out at practice, I got mad, because I’m like, ‘Dang, I can’t take anyone to the ground [yet],’ ” Taylor said.
“You don’t want to unleash on your teammates, so it’s just like when I finally get out there, pray for them. That’s how we all feel, because we’ve got some stuff to let out. It’s been a while, so we’re just ready to take the field."
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The Eagles have tallied just four victories over the past two years and haven’t been to a bowl game since 1987, but backed by a prolific rushing attack (292 yards on 56 carries), EMU did eke out a 31-28 win against Morgan State last weekend.
Offensive coordinator Kurt Roper acknowledged that Florida’s suspended opener against Idaho accelerates the urgency in the unit’s progress, but he also spun a positive out of failing to play a game: no tape. The Gators have film on the Eagles’ defensive personnel and packages, but UF’s revamped offense remains a mystery.
“One of the advantages we have over them is they haven’t had a chance to see us this year,” Roper said.
“…It helps to see who’s playing in those positions and how you’re structuring it.”