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Keys to victory against the Canes; Plus a bold prediction

FIRST, your daily UF-related links in today's sports section of The Miami Herald...
LINK: Top Florida Gators booster has unique link to Tebow family
LINK: Tackle this, UM: UF has the fastest skill-position players in the country
LINK: The War Canoe Trophy is at stake on Saturday
LINK: Canes have attitude; Just need the game

GAINESVILLE -- Let's dispense with the needless formalities. Here are 5 keys to victory for the Gators on Saturday:

1. Hit UM quarterback Robert Marve early. Marve, a redshirt freshman, hasn't played in game since a high school state championship two seasons ago. On Wednesday, UF defensive coordinator just smiled and said the Gators "have a game plan" when I asked him if the defense wanted to rattle Marve on the first drive.

2. Hold UM's running backs to under 150 yards combined. Saturday is the first big test for the Gators' defense. Limiting UM running backs Javarris James and Graig Cooper will be a challenge for the Gators' linebackers. Miami coach Randy Shannon calls James and Cooper the best running back tandem in the country.

3. Score first. Miami's young quarterback and the Canes running game aren't built for a comeback.

4. Special teams. In the last meeting between the Gators and Canes (2004 Peach Bowl), UF's special teams were awful. If Miami's talented defense can limit Florida's offense, Florida's sound special teams play might be the biggest key to victory.

5. Don't make UF quarterback Tim Tebow win the game. Tebow managed the game against Hawaii and the Gators looked pretty good. Tebow's job this season should be simple against favored opponents: Get the ball into the hands of the playmakers.

PREDICTION
UF 31, UM 28: I'm not expecting a blowout. Are you?

-jo-

MESSAGE FROM THE GATOR CLUB OF MIAMI
The Gator Club of Miami's email to fans about viewing parties for UF vs. UM: "We will be at Shula's Steak 2 in Miami Lakes. Come early to find a seat. If you can't make it to Shula's then go to our second location on South Beach at BBQ Beach (1555 Washington Avenue). East location will have 15 percent off on food and beverages once you provide your UFAA membership card. If you are not a member please go to www.miamigators.com to join today. Don't forget that this game is a "blue" out. Come on Gators! Get up and go!"

FROM Florida's UAA ...
LINK: Gator great Wilbur Marshall to be honored on Saturday
LINK: Broadcast information for UF vs. UM
LINK: No.22 Florida soccer defeats Nebraska 6-1

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