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UF season preview; Plus 5 goals for a trip to Atlanta for the SEC championship game

THE MIAMI HERALD'S college football preview hit newsstands today. Check it out!

LINK: Check out the online version of The Herald's college football preview section.
LINK: Seeking the perfect form: Criticism lingers for Heisman-winner Tebow
LINK: Role rehearsal goes well: Spikes shows he is growing into needed leader on defense

GAINESVILLE -- We're excited and having some fun today on Christmas Eve, Eve of the Gators' season opener. Gator Clause presents five statistical measures or thoughts that could land the Florida Gators in Atlanta for the SEC championship game.

5 Hold Tennessee RB Arian Foster to under 100 yards. Foster rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2007 but only had 26 yards on 11 carries against the Gators.

4. Hold LSU to under 20 points. Each of Florida's seven SEC championships since 1991 have two things in common when it comes to LSU. Florida beat LSU each time and held the Tigers to under 20 points.

3. Make Georgia QB Matthew Stafford throw the ball in the fourth quarter. He has a tendency to let pressure get the best of him. In each of the Bulldogs' two losses last season (South Carolina and Tennessee), Stafford tossed fourth-quarter interceptions.

2. Make LSU punt the ball. Everyone knows what happened last season. (The Tigers converted 5-of-5 fourth-down attempts.)

1. Block at least eight kicks. In 2006, the Gators blocked eight kicks (five punts, two field goals and one extra point) and won the national championship. In 2004, Urban Meyer's undefeated Utah team blocked nine kicks (seven punts and two field goals).

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-jo-

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Great post Goody. Thought provoking. It would be cool to see this conversation fired up weekly depending on the opponent.

Keys to making trip to Atlanta....and beyond:
1) Continued good special teams play. Kicking and return yards should be even better than last years good numbers. Improve pressure on opposing kickers. Block a few.
2)Establish consistency DT position. This one sounds a lot easier than it is. Improvement there should result in more 3 and outs. Getting off the field quicker should be a priority for 08's defense. Moreno has plans on running through UF's DT's on Nov, 1. Although this list addresses season long needs, it is likely that any plans go through Jacksonville.
3) Show the ability to hand off inside. This will reduce wear and tear on Tim and keep defenses honest. Keestahn Moore rushed well last year but we could still see a great improvement in this unit. This years backs have seen much more more roster competition.
2) Keep tim healthy. Nuff said.
1) Excellent play from the offensive line. UF has three seniors and the Pouncey towers as a starting five. they also have a bunch of back-ups who have seen playing time and are ready. Tim has been working on better decision making, if the O-line can keep pressure off of him in these big games he will as expected roast many defenses. I'm looking for the offensive line to show this team the way to the Orange Bowl for The Florida Gators in 2008.

30+ years of watching Florida. I've never been so jacked up for a particular season to begin. This could be a special season to watch.

On #3...

Stafford's 4Q INTs against SC/UT came on a final play Hail Mary (SC) and a desperation pass in a blowout game (UT). Not really examples of throwing INTs due to pressure (whatever other knocks on Stafford might be fairly made, of course).

Good point, TD. I'm not knocking Stafford. Just saying Florida needs a fourth-quarter interception against Stafford. Don't really care how it happens?

-jo-

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