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Notebook: Safety Swap

GAINESVILLE -- No. 19 Florida (1-1) released its updated depth chart for Saturday’s game against Tennessee (1-1), and a noticeable switch at safety highlighted the few changes.

Redshirt freshman safety Marcus Maye has been benched in favor of senior cornerback Jaylen Watkins.

Maye had a tough outing in the loss to Miami, blowing a coverage on Phillip Dorsett’s 52-yard touchdown reception and whiffing on a pair of tackles.

“You just can’t give up big plays,” coach Will Muschamp said. “We can’t afford that to happen. You’ve gotta tackle better. Marcus knows that.”

With Watkins sliding to safety, electric freshman defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III is now the backup at all three cornerback spots and should see increased playing time.

Other depth chart notables include Antonio Morrison as the starting middle linebacker, while right guard Jon Halapio (torn pectoral) returns from injury as the starter at right guard.

Also, Loucheiz Purifoy is now the backup kick returner.


Quarterback Jeff Driskel (knee), cornerback Marcus Roberson (knee), left tackle D.J. Humphries (knee) and Halapio (torn pectoral) are all “good to go” for the Volunteers this weekend. Staring right tackle Tyler Moore (ankle) remains questionable, but Muschamp expects the sophomore to play.

Moore won’t practice Monday, as Muschamp said, “We feel like everybody should be good. Tyler’s the only one that’s a little bit questionable right now but I hope to get him back for some reps Tuesday and possibly Wednesday.”


Florida will play its first night game of the season when it kicks off against Kentucky at 7 p.m. on Sept. 28 (ESPN2 or ESPNU). The Gators -- winners of 26 straight games in the series -- haven’t lost to the Wildcats since 1986.


“You have to ask him that. No idea. I don’t think he’d do it, personally. Does anybody want to ask him? He doesn’t allow some media people in his things. Go ask him. I don’t think he’ll do it is my answer. … I’d be all for it though. Absolutely. I’d liked to see it actually. Some of y’all would as well.”

-- Muschamp -- smiling and laughing the whole time -- on the chances South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier returns to Florida this season as an honorary Mr. Two Bits.


After Jordan Reed led the Gators in receptions in 2012, Florida’s tight ends have been non-existent in the offense this season with just a single reception. Muschamp was critical of their progress, saying, “We’re going to throw it to the guys who can make plays. … We’re going to circle guys who are going to make plays and yards after the catch. That’s not been the strong point of that position at this point.”

... Florida has won eight straight games against Tennessee -- a UF series best. The Gators trounced the Vols 37-20 last season with a big second-half comeback.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton


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