No. 11 Florida plays 1st of 2 against FCS teams this month
UT Martin (1-0) at No. 11 Florida (1-0), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EDT (ESPNU).
Series record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
For Florida, the embarrassment of losing to a Football Championship Subdivision team (see Tennessee). UT Martin is 1-26 against Football Bowl Subdivision members, including 0-9 against the Southeastern Conference.
Florida’s defensive front vs. UT Martin’s offensive line. The Gators recorded 10 sacks in their opener against Miami, the most by an SEC team since 2008. UT Martin coach Jason Simpson insists he won’t let Florida repeat the feat. “They could have had more,” he said. “They won’t get 10 against us because we’ll just hand it off for about the last 40 plays of the game if that’s what happens. ... We won’t tie that record. We’ll just keep handing it off on those third downs.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
UT Martin: Senior Terry Williams totaled 199 all-purpose yards in the team’s opener against Northwestern State. He had 28 yards receiving, 98 on punt returns and 73 on kickoff returns.
Florida: Pass-rushers Jonathan Greenard and Jabari Zuniga, who were menaces against the Hurricanes. They combined for five tackles for loss, including three sacks.
FACTS & FIGURES
UT Martin is getting $500,000 to play in the Swamp, the kind of payday that helps fund the school’s entire athletic department. The Skyhawks have another one in November, ending the regular season at Kentucky. ... Florida also faces Towson of the FCS later this month. ... The Gators are looking to improve to 26-1 against first-time opponents, including 19 consecutive wins. ... The Gators should be able to play a number of backups and freshmen, but more importantly for coach Dan Mullen, he would like to see improvements on offense that include fewer turnovers and more rushing yards. ... Florida will honor its most famous cheerleader before the game. George Edmondson Jr., better known as Mr. Two Bits while riling up crowds at Florida home games for 60 years, died in early July at age 97. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren will lead the renowned two-bits cheer at midfield.