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Florida safety Ahmad Black is smiling; Gators to face virgin QBs in first two weeks

TAMPA -- I'm sitting inside Raymond James Stadium tonight covering Jags-Bucs. Yes, former Florida Gators safety Reggie Nelson is in the house and, yes, he already has one interception for the Jags. [OK, make that TWO picks for Reggie Nelson IN THE FIRST HALF!]

Reggie's picks of Bucs QB Jeff Garcia got me thinking: The Gators' current safeties -- the weakest unit on the Gators' team -- couldn't have asked for a better start to the season. They're facing two virgin college quarterbacks in the first two weeks.

Hawaii starting quarterback Brent Rausch is a junior-college transfer who has no experience at the FBS level. BUT RAUSCH MIGHT NOT EVEN START. Rausch, who was the projected back-up this offseason, missed practice on Saturday with a strained arm, according to the Honolulu Advertiser. Hawaii coach Greg McMackin isn't sure if Rausch will be healthy by next Saturday. Rausch's back-up is Greg Alexander. Alexander was Hawaii's projected third-string quarterback at the beginning of the offseason.

If that's not enough to lower the collective blood pressure of Florida's defensive coaches , the news out of Coral Gables certainly will. According to The Miami Herald, projected Miami Hurricanes starter Robert Marve, a redshirt freshman, is suspended for Miami's season opener. That means true freshman Jacory Harris will get the start in the 'Canes against Charleston Southern.

It seems that Marve is expected to return to the starting line-up for the Hurricanes' date with the Gators on Sept. 6. That means Marve will be making the first start of his college career inside The Swamp. That's a tough assignment, folks.

Like I said, I'm in Tampa tonight but if I squint really hard I think I can see Florida sophomore safety Ahmad Black smiling all the way from here. Could the season be starting any better for the Gators? Next thing you know, Tennessee safety Eric Berry is going to catch the flu in three weeks.

-jo-

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