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Gators redshirt senior offensive lineman Maurice Hurt to make first career start at tackle in season opener

GAINESVILLE -- Florida's offensive line is set for the season opener.

Due to the injuries of Xavier Nixon (knee) and Matt Patchan (wrist), fifth-year senior Marcus Gilbert will start at left tackle against Miami (Ohio). Gilbert will be charged with protecting quarterback John Brantley's blindside. He did the same for left-handed quarterback Tim Tebow in 2009.

Starting at right tackle will be redshirt senior Maurice Hurt, who played right guard in the spring. Hurt has started six games during his career at UF, including five starts in 2009 at guard. Hurt has never started at tackle.

Redshirt junior James Wilson will start at right guard on Saturday. Wilson started four games in 2009 at left guard. A former high school teammate of Tim Tebow, Wilson has had an up-and-down career at UF but has the talent to be an All-SEC offensive lineman.

Senior Mike Pouncey is starting at center for the season opener. Pouncey is expected to be the anchor of the offensive line this season. Saturday will be his first start at center in his career but he has 31 career starts entering this season. 

At left guard will be redshirt senior Carl Johnson, the second largest UF offensive lineman in school history. Johnson (6-5, 360 pounds) has appeared in 29 games and made 22 starts throughout his career.

Florida coach Urban Meyer has reminded reporters several times during the preseason that two-thirds of his team is made up of underclassmen. This is true, but UF's starting offensive line is quite experienced. Consider that three redshirt seniors, one senior and one redshirt junior are starting in the season opener. Collectively, that's 23 seasons of experience!

-jo-

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