4 of 6 Florida DTs could be out for Saturday

By Adam Silverstein
October 22, 2009

Over the last two weeks, OGGOA has reported on the slow and steady depletion of starters on the Florida Gators defensive line. The unplanned lack of depth is getting increasingly worrisome with senior middle linebacker Brandon Spikes hampered by groin and Achilles tendonitis injures, further softening the middle of the defense.

Defensive tackles redshirt junior Lawrence Marsh (ankle), redshirt sophomore Jaye Howard (knee), junior Justin Trattou (biceps tendon) and redshirt junior Brandon Antwine (shoulder) lead the interior of the line – and all four are either questionable or doubtful for Saturday evening’s Mississippi State Bulldogs game. In their stead, redshirt freshman Omar Hunter and junior Terron Sanders filled in admirably against the Arkansas Razorbacks, both being named to head coach Urban Meyer’s Champions Club.

With four of six tackles potentially out for the game Saturday, Florida has scratched and clawed in order to find some depth in senior Troy Epps (who has played so rarely it took me five minutes to find a picture of him in action), redshirt defensive end Earl Okine and junior DE Duke Lemmens. Egads!

Defensive line coach Dan McCarney updated the status of his unit: “It’s day-to-day on Howard, don’t know on him. Marsh is day-to-day, I’d say he’s doubtful. I’m hoping he gets back next week. Earl Okine, we’re working in at tackle. Omar Hunter or Tank Epps can play in there at nose or tackle. Duke Lemmens can jump in there at tackle if we needed him to. I can only coach the guys who practice. We’ve got to get those guys ready. We’re thin right now, but we were still able to win an SEC game here (last Saturday) with four of my six guys that didn’t play.”

The best part of that quote, unfortunately, is that Epps’ nickname is “Tank.”


  1. FightinGator says:

    I think it will be great to get some new blood out there. These guys will be pumped to prove they can play. Watch for a great game.

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  3. I’d prefer the starters.

  4. Gatorfan33 says:

    I am also worried being that we have no passing game or explosiveness on offense to really speak of. If our offense could throw up 50 with no problem I wouldn’t worry about this but they can’t and we must rely on a severely banged up defense to carry us. I have a very bad feeling about this game.

  5. I don’t have a bad feeling about this game. But South Carolina worries me.

  6. Kaity says:

    Me too, Adam. The Gamecocks are our biggest challenge left.

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