OnlyGators.com will offer a complete recap of the 2015 Orange & Blue Debut later Saturday evening following its tape-delayed replay on the SEC Network. More information below.
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather: Cloudy, 82 degrees, winds west/south-west at 7-8 mph
Time: 12:30 p.m. (EDT)
Live online/mobile (12:30 p.m.): SEC Network +
Live TV (12:30 p.m.): SEC Network alternate (“whip-around” coverage)
TV (9:00 p.m. tape delay): SEC Network
SiriusXM: None | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter
EXPANDED VIEWING INFORMATION
Florida’s 2015 spring game will not air live in its entirety on television but rather on tape delay at 9 p.m. on SEC Network. Live “whip-around” coverage will be available on the SEC Network‘s alternate channel (where available) beginning at 12:30 p.m.
While the game is not being offered live on television, you can stream it live online (and via your mobile device) via SEC Network +. The game may be immediately available for replay via SEC Network + at the conclusion of the spring game.
» Florida will field an orange team and a blue team, which will square off over four 12-minute quarters and an un-timed overtime.
» Between each half, the Gators will hold a 12-minute halftime.
» There will also be a running clock for the final two minutes of the second and fourth quarters, likely with some additional kicking and special teams work.
INJURIES AND ABSENCES
» Defense (4): Senior linebacker Antonio Morrison (undisclosed knee injury), redshirt junior defensive lineman Bryan Cox Jr. (hip surgery), junior LB Jarrad Davis (torn ACL), redshirt freshman DL Thomas Holley (hip)
» Offense (5): Redshirt senior tight end Jake McGee (leg), redshirt senior offensive lineman Trip Thurman (shoulder), senior walk-on running back Mark Herndon (knee), redshirt sophomore left tackle Roderick Johnson (stinger, undisclosed), sophomore wide receiver Brandon Powell (foot)
» Non-injury absences (2): Junior WR Chris Thompson (“excused”), redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Jay-nard Bostwick (“personal reasons”)
WHO TO WATCH: OFFENSE
» Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks caoch Doug Nussmeier, wide receivers coach Kerry Dixon II, tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Greg Nord and running backs coach Tim Skipper will all coach on the field in their debuts with the Gators. Offensive line coach Mike Summers is the lone returning staff member.
» The quarterback battle rages on. Redshirt freshman Will Grier (#7) and sophomore Treon Harris (#3) will compete for first-string duties while redshirt junior Skyler Mornhinweg (#8) tries to fend off walk-on classmate Jacob Guy (#15) for the No. 3 role. Decision-making has been an issue as of late with the Florida signal callers, so all eyes will be on them Saturday.
» Only two scholarship running backs – junior Kelvin Taylor (#21) and redshirt sophomore Adam Lane Jr. (#22) – are on the roster for the spring game, so expect them to see all of the action in the first half and limited carries afterward. Moving Powell (who is out of action due to a heel injury) to wide receiver thinned the Gators’ rushing corps, and his playmaking is an element that will be noticeably absent.
» Will junior wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (#11) take a step forward? Have junior Ahmad Fulwood (#5) and senior Latroy Pittman Jr. (#9) finally come into their own? Will the Gators get any contributions from senior Raphael Andrades (#86) or redshirt sophomore Alvin Bailey (#89) in 2015?
» Florida has a lot of inexperience at tight end, especially with McGee sidelined for the spring game, but the Gators do have four other scholarship bodies playing in the game including sophomore DeAndre Goolsby (#30), redshirt freshmen C’yontai Lewis (#80) and Moral Stephens (#82) and freshman early enrollee Daniel Imatorbhebhe (#88).
» Will Florida’s patchwork offensive line last through four quarters and an overtime period?
WHO TO WATCH: DEFENSE
» Defensive coordinator Geoff Collins, co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Randy Shannon, defensive backs coach Kirk Callahan and defensive line coach Chris Rumph will all be coaching in the orange and blue for the first time on Saturday.
» Choosing to return for his senior season, defensive end Jonathan Bullard (#90) is a known quantity outside, but Florida will also be looking to redshirt junior Alex McCalister (#14) to help replace future first-round draft selection Dante Fowler Jr.
» With two potential defensive tackle starters sidelined, the Gators turn their focus to junior Joey Ivie (#91), redshirt sophomore Caleb Brantley (#57) and redshirt freshman Taven Bryan (#93) on the inside.
» Missing two starting linebackers due to knee injuries, Florida’s second line of defense has been its weakest unit this spring. Juniors Alex Anzalone (#34) and Daniel McMillian (#13) have both received rave reviews at times during spring practice.
» Secondary is undoubtedly the star of the Gators’ defense this season with cornerbacks junior Vernon Hargreaves III (#1) and sophomore Jalen Tabor (31) charged with locking down the outside. It does not stop there for Florida, though, with senior Brian Poole (#24), redshirt junior Marcus Maye (#20), junior Keanu Neal (#42), redshirt sophomores Marcell Harris (#26) and Nick Washington (#8), sophomore Quincy Wilson (#6) and redshirt freshman J.C. Jackson (#23) all standing out as well. Yes, the Gators’ secondary is loaded.
WHO TO WATCH: SPECIAL TEAMS
» Florida only has two kickers in spring practice with redshirt freshman Jorge Powell (#98) attempting to challenge redshirt junior Austin Hardin (#16) for the starting job.
» Redshirt sophomore punter Johnny Townsend (#19) is the only player at his position on the roster and is therefore the uncontested starter, as expected following the departure of Kyle Christy.
» Who will return kick sand punts for the Gators? Expect to see plenty of Jackson, a speedy, athletic and versatile player with the ball in his hands. Perhaps Bailey, a speedster in his own right, will get some chances as well.