Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather: 84°F (feels like 92°F), scattered t-storms (chance of rain: 40 percent)
Time: 4:00 p.m. EDT
TV: SEC Network (Tom Hart, Matt Stinchcomb, Heather Mitts)
SiriusXM: 93/190 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter
|FLORIDA GATORS||E. MICHIGAN EAGLES|
|Head Coach: Will Muschamp||Head Coach: Chris Creighton|
|Record: 0-0||Record: 1-0|
|Conference: Southeastern||Conference: Mid-American|
Odds: Florida -40.5 | O/U 55.5
KEEP UP WITH THE GATORS
Busy during the week? Miss a feature, story or post on OnlyGators.com? No worries. Catch up on what you forgot to check out via the links below!
Notebook: Muschamp reinstates suspended players reinstated, more Florida starters named ahead of new opener | Notebook: Kurt Roper, Jeff Driskel believe in Demarcus Robinson | Notebook: Muschamp goes off on those criticizing his discipline |
Notebook: LB Michael Taylor, DE Dante Fowler ready to lead…and hit hard |
Interview: Heather Mitts returns to Gainesville
HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS
» It has been 336 days (11 months, 2 days) since the Gators won a football game.
» Florida is 10-1 all-time against current MAC members and 1-0 against Eastern Michigan. The Gators and Eagles previously squared off in 2004 during the second week of the season. Like this year, weather suspended UF’s season opener the week prior, so it began the 2004 campaign against EMU in Week 2.
» The Gators have won 24-straight season openers. It is the longest such winning streak in the SEC and second-longest in the nation behind Nebraska (29). UF is 80-27 all-time in its first game of a season.
» Florida finished 2013 with a 4-8 record, putting together its first losing season since it went winless (0-10-1) in 1979. UF rebounded to finish 8-4 in 1980, setting an NCAA record for best turnaround in major college football history at the time.
» Muschamp’s 22-16 record through three seasons (2011-13) is the worst for a Gators head coach in that span since Charley Pell went 15-19-1 from 1979-81.
» Kurt Roper is Muschamp’s third offensive coordinator in four seasons and Florida’s fifth in the last seven years, while Mike Summers is Muschamp’s third offensive line coach.
» Chris Leak is the Gators’ sixth wide receivers coach in as many seasons. He is also Muschamp’s fourth in his four-year tenure. Special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler will also be coaching his first game a a full-time staff member.
» Florida has forced more turnovers than any other SEC team this century. UF has accounted for 366 over the last 13 years, while LSU is second with 358 forced.
» The Gators are first nationally in interceptions returned for touchdowns (17) and interception return yards (1,860) since the start of the 2008 season. In that span, Florida is third in total interceptions with 106, behind only Oregon (111) and Boise State (109).
» UF advanced to a bowl game in 22 consecutive seasons before falling short in 2013.
» 31 players, including 28 freshmen and three transfers, will be suiting up for the Gators for the first time when the season opens.
» Florida has finished with an undefeated 7-0 record at home three times in the last eight seasons (2006, 2009, 2012).
» UF has the second-best home winning percentage in the nation since 1990 (.863), three tenths of a percent behind Nebraska (.866).
INJURIES AND ABSENCES
» Active (3): Sophomore wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (UF sanction), senior defensive tackle Darious Cummings (violation of team rules), redshirt freshman DT Jay-nard Bostwick (violation of team rules)
» Questionable (2): Redshirt freshman linebacker Matt Rolin (ACL)
» Doubtful (1): Redshirt sophomore defensive back Marcus Maye (hamstring)
» Out (1): Redshirt sophomore LB Jeremi Powell (Knee)
EAGLES MAKING HEADLINES
Eastern Michigan has been in the news plenty over the first two weeks of the season, though the two reasons are quite varied. First, the
good funny. Prior to the Eagles’ season-opener last Saturday, someone thought it would be a good idea for them to break down a cinder block wall in order to make a statement as the team took the field. Unfortunately, that did not go so well for EMU.
Now, the serious. Three Eastern Michigan players – Darius Scott, Quincy Jones and Jarockeis Jones – were suspended from the team this week after being accused of aggravated assault. Court records show that the man the players “are accused of beating [is] the cousin of the man who shot and killed Demarius Reed last year,” according to MLive.com’s Kyle Feldscher. Reed, an Eagles player, was killed last year when two men attempted to rob him of his “expensive clothing.” The man accused of slaying Reed, Ed Thomas, was found not guilty on due to untrustworthy testimony.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The Gators are not only looking to snap a seven-game losing streak but hope to do so in convincing fashion with an offense now under the direction of Roper. A sexy darkhorse pick to win the SEC East in 2014, Florida can prove some of its supporters correct with an impressive offensive outing against an Eastern Michigan team that is simply not in the same league as its host on Saturday. A big-time win could even help UF find a spot in the second regular-season edition of the top 25 polls.
More than five-touchdown underdogs to the Gators, the Eagles are simply hoping for a respectable showing on Saturday after getting crushed 45-7 by Penn State last season. Eastern Michigan won its opener 31-28 over Morgan State and travels to Gainesville on an $850,000 game contract, which should cushion the blow of a tough defeat…at least for the administration.