Flash back to 1989. Georgia had just beaten Florida 17-10, and the players all mocked Florida’s fans with the Gator Chomp.
Florida has won 18 out of the last 21.
Then go to 1997. Sebastian Janikowski nailed a big field goal to give FSU some breathing room, and did a huge, exaggerated Chomp to the Florida Field crowd.
Florida drove down the field and won the game three plays later.
Now on to 2007. Wes Byrum of Auburn nailed a huge game winner in the Swamp, and chomped the crowd.
It’s up to the 2011 Gators to avenge that.
Auburn has lost Cam Newton and Nick Fairley, but they still have plenty of weapons.
They have wide receiver Emory Blake, a great leaper with good enough hands who will be depended on for fade routes in big time situations.
They have Ontario McCaleb, a speed demon who has broken at least one run of 20 yards or more in all but three games this year.
They have Quan Bray, an incoming freshman who can play numerous positions with a verbal but solid committment to Auburn.
It’s the QB position that may cause Gene Chizik problems.
Barrett Trotter, who will be a junior, is my best guess to land the starting spot, because he was going to be handed the keys to the Tiger offense before Newton came into the picture. He is a very athletic QB with a snap quick release and the ability to take off and buy some time. He can throw on the run if need be, but he is closer to a dop back passer than a spread QB.
Kiehl Frazier is more like Cameron Newton, familiar with a spread option game, but he’s going to be a freshman next year and has not seen big stages before at Shiloh High School. Although he is a running QB, he isn’t nearly as accurate on the run.
That’s exactly what the Gators have to plan to do- make the QB run.
They cannot allow Trotter- or Frazier- to get comfortable, settle in, and pick the Gator apart. They need to knock him down, let him know that he’s being targeted all the time.
Who better to do that than Will Muschamp?
The Gators have plenty of speed on defense, and if you’ve ever played for Charlie Strong, you’re able to put some big hits on QB’s on command.
So expect the Gators to blitz early in the down count to set the tone, and disrupt the entire offense.
Now, onto the offensive side. They’ve got speed, they’ve got playmakers, the only thing they don’t have is… a dependable QB.
I think if all Gator fans had to bet their last dollar on who starts at QB against FAU, the answer is going to be John Brantley.
Let’s get one thing straight. I know that Steve Addazio’s offense was horrible, and the QB he used was just as bad. Or you could flip that, and look at it vice versa.
Whatever you want.
The point is that I’m not a fan of Brantley any more than most of you and I promise you guys that I have very limited patience for him. If my patience goes, then I call for Jeff Driskel.
That’s a promise. I’ll give Brantley one game to see if he can at least light up a bottom feeder.
Assuming Brantley makes it to the Auburn game as the starter, then that means he will have seen six defenses, played reasonably well at Death Valley in the Bayou (one week before the trip to Auburn) and that he won’t likely buckle under the pressure and the lights of Jordan Hare.
But even if it’s Driskel, Charlie Weis will figure something out. He’s too good of an offensive mind not to.
Defense plays light out and offense does its job.
Florida 34 Auburn 23