2011 Orange & Blue Debut – Gameday Preview

By Adam Silverstein
April 8, 2011

Event: 2011 Orange & Blue Debut – Florida Gators spring football
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Time: 12:00 p.m. (EST)

TV: Sun Sports

Online Video: —–>

Live Updates: @OnlyGators Reference: Roster | Schedule 2010: Blue 27, Orange 24

Radio appearance: Adam Silverstein will be previewing the Florida Gators’ spring game Saturday on Sirius-122/XM-143 College Sports Nation at approximately 11 a.m. Tune in.


» Gator Walk: North side of stadium, exterior, 9:30 a.m. start
» Parking: The following parking locations are available first-come, first-serve for fans wishing to attend the game – O’Connell Center garage, O’Connell Center lot (disabled), Commuter Lot (Lemerand Dr.) with shuttle
» Heisman Statue Ceremony: UF will unveil three statues of the school’s Heisman Trophy winners – Steve Spurrier (1966), Danny Wuerffel (1996) and Tim Tebow (2007) – on the westside of the stadium at halftime of the game near the skybox entrance. Those inside the stadium will not be allowed to exit for the ceremony but will be able to watch the unveiling live inside The Swamp after watching a brief video introduction. Spurrier, Wuerffel and Tebow will all provide remarks to the crowd after the unveiling, though only Wuerffel and Tebow are expected to be in attendance.
» Former Gators in attendance: QB Tebow, QB Wuerffel, LB Mike Peterson, RB Fred Taylor, C Maurkice & Mike Pouncey, WR Riley Cooper, WR David Nelson, LB Brandon Spikes, DE Carlos Dunlap, DB Dorian Munroe, DE Jarvis Moss, DT Joe Cohen, RB Kesthan Moore, etc.
» Recruits in attendance (List courtesy of InsideTheGators.com): LB Jeremi Powell (commit), RB Matt Jones (commit), LB Tyriq McCord, OT Patrick Miller, OT Avery Young, DE Jelani Hamilton, ATH Angelo Jean-Louis, ATH Amos Leggett, ATH Nelson Agholor, LB Noor Davis, OL Evan Goodman, ATH Marcus Maye, DT Korren Kirven, TE Kurt Freitag, DE Jhaustin Thomas, LB Tashon Whitehurst, S Ladarion Young, LB Trey Johnson (2013), RB Kelvin Taylor (2013), LB Leon McQuay III (2013), etc.

Additional information including the game format, injury report, team notes and who to keep an eye on all are available…after the break!


» Time: Four 12-minute quarters, running clock in the second half
» Blue: First-team offense, first-team defense
» Orange: Second-team offense, second-team defense
» Colors: Offense always wears blue, defense always wears white
» Kickoffs: To start first and third quarters only
» Punts: Yes – all are fair caught by the returner


» Out: ATH Trey Burton (ankle), WR Andre Debose (ankle), T Xavier Nixon (ankle), RBs Mike Blakely (shoulder), Mack Brown (fibula), Mike Gillislee (foot); C Nick Alajajian (meniscus); T Matt Patchan (wrist); Gs James Wilson (knee), David Young (knee); DTs Jaye Howard (ankle), Omar Hunter (undisclosed); LB Neiron Ball (head); DE Kendric Johnson (knee); CBs Janoris Jenkins (shoulder), De’Ante Saunders (hamstring)


» Florida’s entire coaching staff – with the exception of running backs coach Brian White (former tight ends coach) and linebackers/special teams coach D.J. Durkin – will make their public debut with the Gators on Saturday. Head coach Will Muschamp and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, in particular, will have the opportunity to make the biggest impression on fans and the media.
» The following members of the 2011 recruiting class are early enrollees who will play their first game on Saturday: QB Jeff Driskel, RB Blakely (inj. – shoulder), CB Saunders (inj. – hamstring), TE A.C. Leonard, WR Javares McRoy, P Kyle Christy and DE/LB Clay Burton. Many of Florida’s other 2011 commitments will be in attendance.
» Four prominent Gators student-athletes officially changed their respective positions for the 2011 season: Ronald Powell became a buck LB, Trey Burton moved from QB to the F-position, Gerald Christian switched from TE to LB/TE and Jonotthan Harrison dropped G for C. Other players also adjusted their positions but not as drastically.


» Redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley…who will return as Florida’s starter but finally have the opportunity to play in a pro-style offense, for which his talents are better suited. The most important things that can be judged when it comes to Brantley on Saturday are his comfort level and confidence. He will throw the ball deep, lay some passes across the middle and spread it around to his receivers – but he also accomplished these things during the game in 2010 when he completed 79 percent of his passes (15-of-19) for 201 yards and two touchdowns.
» Offensive adjustments…which will be easily evident to the viewer simply by how the Gators line-up the first time. In Weis’s system, Florida will operate with the quarterback both under center and from the shotgun. The running back will be placed deeper in the backfield and will receive a traditional handoff, allowing the two- or three-player play action to become a part of the offense once again. There will likely be a concentration to throw the ball deep to please the fans, and redshirt sophomore tight end Jordan Reed should see plenty of touches.
» The injured offensive line…which will look much younger with so many new starters and will play the majority of the afternoon due to so many players being injured. Keep an eye on how the middle of the defensive line and UF’s outside linebackers attack what will almost certainly be a tired unit by the time the game is over.
» Playmakers redshirt senior running back Chris Rainey and wide receivers redshirt sophomore Deonte Thompson, redshirt junior Frankie Hammond, Jr., redshirt junior Omarius Hines and sophomore Quinton Dunbar…all of whom should see plenty of action at least early on during the game. Rainey and some of the smaller and faster players (sophomore WR Robert Clark, sophomore WR Solomon Patton, McRoy) will have an opportunity to shine due to the lack of tough defense, while the rest of the receivers will see a bunch of looks from Brantley and the other QBs.
» The young defenders…especially sophomore buck linebacker Ronald Powell and sophomore defensive tackles Dominique Easley and Sharrif Floyd. The trio of five-star 2010 recruits have received rave reviews during spring practice and could all be poised for breakout campaigns. Powell’s position change has given him increased versatility, and Easley’s first-step has been a “wow” factor for many of his teammates. Sophomore safety Matt Elam and redshirt freshman defensive end Chris Martin are two other youngsters to watch. Martin will be playing on the orange team.
» Freshman punter Kyle Christy and senior kicker Caleb Sturgis…both of whom will participate in practice-like drills when game action stops due to downs or scores. Christy is being tasked with replacing a Ray Guy Award winner, while Sturgis is hoping to regain his form as he recovers from multiple back injuries that kept him out most of 2010.


  1. Mr2Bits says:

    Nice work on the radio gig. Making your way up the ladder.

  2. Basshole says:

    Man, I’m excited about this season. I am so excited to see what Muschamp can do with those defensive studs we drafted last year! I don’t know what to make of our offense, but I think our D should show flashes of brilliance. they will have their hiccups, but with that talent and the new coaching, I think we’ll be happy.

  3. jay d says:

    Looking forward to. Not seeing addazio on the side-line..& also looking forward to. Learning some up and commers names….my boy demps won’t be out there so I will need to pick a secondary player to root for during the game….

  4. Timmy T says:

    Even though we are talking about a glorified practice session, I’m excited as hell to see just a tiny piece of the future today. Hopefully, everybody stays healthy and the crowd welcomes Muschamp and Co. with some serious Swamp noise. Wish I could be there, but I’ll be watching on TV. Go Gators!

  5. GatorsAlumLA says:

    Here’s what I’ve observed…

    1. I saw the same ol’ John Brantley… the in-completions, bad snaps from center, passes batted down were all still there.

    2. Tyler Murphy looked efficient

    3. Jeff Driskell is SPECIAL!

    4. Christian Provancha threw a better pass than Brantley.

    5. The O-Line is our Achilles heel.

    6. the defense was satisfactory, the offense was anemic.

    A lot to work on til September, but I do believe in the new coaching staff will have this team ready to beat up on FAU.

    • Zooker says:

      I agree with your assessment, but I would add that Shariff Floyd is a beast, should be the first pick in the NFL draft two years from now

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