Texas A&M's season-opening opponent, Florida, began its 2012 campaign with a 27-13 home win over Bowling Green on Saturday. Here's a glance at some of what the Gators showed in their win and what could be worth watching when they play the Aggies on Sept. 8:
QB questions: A lot of attention was paid to the quarterback situation coming into the Gators' opener and coach Will Muschamp didn't name a starter before the game, instead saying that the two competitors for the spot -- Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett -- would each play a quarter before reassessing the situation at halftime.
Muschamp carried the guessing game into the first snap, by putting both quarterbacks on the field for the first play of the game against Bowling Green. Driskel ended up playing the first quarter and more, as the Gators were on a drive when the quarter changed. Brissett played just 11 snaps in the second quarter and had five attempts, while Driskel had 16 attempts while playing the remainder of the offensive plays, including the entire second half.
For the most part, Driskel showed accuracy, the ability to run and make solid throws on the run outside the pocket. Most of the throws were of the safe variety, and he finished an efficient 10-of-16 for 114 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions to go with 24 rushing yards.
Bringing the heat: Defensively the Gators were able to get a lot of pressure on Bowling Green quarterback Matt Schilz often with just their defensive line. The Gators appeared fast, strong and active up front, particularly on the interior, with junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. His ability to push the interior rushed Schilz into quick decisions and even once forced him into a bad throw that led to a Florida interception. There were even some instances where the Gators got pressure with just a three-man rush. Their defensive ends were fast and athletic.
Ground game: The running game for Florida was productive with Mike Gillislee rushing for 148 yards and two touchdown on 24 carries. He has good speed and agility, showing the ability to make defenders miss in space and accelerate past them. The Gators' offensive line did a good job of creating holes and sealing off blocks to create lanes for Gillislee on his longer runs. The Gators weren't particularly effective in short-yardage running situations though, especially on third and short, struggling to consistently pick up necessary yardage for first downs.
No secondary concerns: Florida's secondary did an overall good job in coverage and was solid in tackling. There were few instances where the Falcons gained significant yards after catches. Even on several of Bowling Green's completions, Florida defensive backs were often right there with the receiver to make a tackle or try to make a play on the ball. Jaylen Watkins and Marcus Roberson each broke up a pair of passes, and Roberson had an interception on a tipped pass.
Special weapon: On special teams, kicker Caleb Sturgis showed a strong leg, connecting on a 51-yard field goal in the contest. He did miss a 27-yarder late in the game, however, but with the kind of range he showed, he's a weapon for the Gators.