1. What were the expectations leading into this season after the departure of Tebow?
I thought four losses was a real possibility. Between the weakness of the SEC East, the play of South Carolina and FSU, plus the two current losses, four seems like a legit number. The Gator fans who thought UF was going to roll the East are idiots. I believed at the beginning of the season that 2010 sets up 2011, the same way as 2007 set up 2008 for the Gators.
2. Mississippi State played a close game against the gators in Starkville last year, with Florida pulling away near the end. Do you see this game being that close this year?
Yes, because the Gators cannot score. There are major injury problems (John Brantley, Jeff Demps, Mike Gillislee, Deonte Thompson) and offensive coordinator Steve Addazio does not know how to function. Last week, UF called three timeouts following first downs. That is embarrassing. As for the Gators defense, they make mistakes due to being too aggressive or inexperienced. They take two steps forward and one step back.
3. There are reports out that Brantley sustained injuries recently. Will those injuries prevent him from playing this weekend? If he can't go, who will take his place?
4. Give us a rundown of your top playmakers on offense and defense.
Florida doesn't have playmakers on offense, which is the biggest problem with this team. Omarius Hines, Andre Debose and Carl Moore all have shown flashes of brilliance, but they don't get enough touches. Debose ran back a kickoff and got one handoff for his reward. Hines, who is a fantastic athlete, is never used.
On defense, linebackers Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins are fantastic. Both can chase down backs, and roll into coverage. Ahmad Black and Janoris Jenkins are still very good, but teams target their opposites, Will Hill and Jeremy Brown. It was Brown who was beaten on LSU's winning touchdown last week.
5. Do gator fans miss having Dan Mullen on staff? Does his experience at Florida give him an advantage this weekend?
Very much. Mullen was criticized for certain plays, mainly because Gator fans want to see 10 yard gains each play. But you realized there was a method. Mainly that method was get the ball in the playmakers' hands. Addazio either can't or chooses not to understand that. Last week, Brantley had zero snaps inside the LSU five, but Burton had four. Doesn't make any sense. Mullen will have an advantage in that Addazio is running a simpler version of what Mullen ran. We saw last year how Miss State shut down the Gators, and the same could happen again.