5 NEW MEXICO STATE
12 EAST CAROLINA
19 at Kentucky*
10 at Missouri*
17 at LSU*
14 at South Carolina*
28 FLORIDA STATE
HOME GAMES IN CAPS
7-5, 4-4 SEC
EASTERN MICHIGAN W 65-0
KENTUCKY W 36-30
st Alabama L 42-21
at Tennessee W 10-9
LSU L 30-27
MISSOURI L 42-13
Georgia W 38-20
at Vanderbilt W 34-10
SOUTH CAROLINA L 23-20
EASTERN KENTUCKY W 52-3
at Florida State L 24-19
East Carolina (Bowl) W 28-20
Jim McElwain (ist year 0-0); career 22-16
HERALD'S FORECAST 8-4
There is a new coach, new offensive and defensive schemes and 31 lettermen
have departed. That would normally signal a rebuilding year, but not here. The
SEC East is wide open and Florida has arguably the country's best secondary.
If the quarterback position is productive Gators could be the surprise team of the year whether it's Will Grier or Treon Harris behind center.
MARTEZ IVERY, fr., OL
The Gators offensive line is a big concern heading into season. Easing that anxiety is
the 6-8, 290 pounder from state champion Apopka who is expected to step right in and give this unit much needed help. Dubbed "the freak" by some teammates, Ivery is physical and smart and mature beyond his years.
DEEP AT: SECONDARY
Led by junior Vernon Hargreaves, this could be the best secondary in the country. Senior Brian Poole from Southeast adds experience and talent. This duo combined for 23 pass breakups and 7 interceptions. Safeties Marcus Maye and Keanu Neal and nickelback Daniel McMillan are among the best.
THIN AT OFFENSIVE LINE:
The unit's only returning starter is senior guard Trip Thurman and only seven scholarship players were working with the OL in the spring. Two freshman and two sophomores figure to round out the starting unit so patience will be needed.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Consecutive victories Florida has registered over Kentucky, which is the second longest active series win streak in major college football behind Penn State's 31 straight over Temple.
The number of lettermen Gators lost from last year, which is among the most of any team in the country.
Gators ranked dead last in passing offense in SEC conference games averaging a paltry 137 ypg.
GAME TO WATCH: Oct 31 vs Georgia (Jacksonville)
Always a huge rivalry this game could decide the SEC East. Gators pulled off
upset last year and Bulldogs are seeking revenge.
NEEDS A BIG SEASON FROM:
BRIAN POOLE/senior/defensive back
Four years ago when he finished his career at Southeast Poole was lauded as one of the best defensive backs in the country and some pubications had him ranked first among cornerbacks.
He has had a good career, but not lived up to the super hype that accompanied him when he arrived in Gainesville. Entering his senior year, Poole has one season left to put himself in position to be a high NFL draft pick in '16 and help the Gators return to the elite group of college football teams.
Florida needs a big season from more than a few people and its secondary could be the best in the country. Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves is a stud, but Poole has an opportunity to make this one of Florida's best secondaries in history. Last year he led Gators with 4 interceptions and was second with 10 pass breakups. With an inexperienced offensive line and question marks at quarterback the defense will have to carry this team in the beginning and Poole can make that task a lot easier.
-- Alan Dell, Herald sports writer