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Florida Gators Vs. Toledo Rockets Free Pick 8/31/13

Toledo Rockets (0-0) at Florida Gators (0-0)

College Football: Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 12:21 pm (Ben Hill Griffin Stadium)

The Line: Florida Gators -24 --- Over/Under: 56 See the Latest Odds

TV: SEC, MSG, ESPN3, GamePlan

The Florida Gators and the Toledo Rockets open their 2013 college football season’s as they face off in the Swamp on Saturday.

The Florida Gators surprised some people a year ago going 11-2 but as nice as all of the wins were the losses were the toughest kind losing to arch rival Georgia and losing a one sided affair in the Sugar Bowl against a big underdog in Louisville. This year the expectations are there for Will Muschamp’s talented team but there are question marks as far as experience. Jeff Driskel is back at QB but the Gators passing game wasn’t good enough last season as he threw for just 12 touchdown passes despite having a roster loaded with high school All Americans. Matt Jones takes over at tailback but he is out for this one so look for Mack Brown and others. Quinton Dunbar and Andre Dubose are about as highly recruited as they come at wide receiver but neither has ever put up any kind of numbers for the Gators while Trey Burton has been more of a do everything type of player. Many of the key defensive players from a year ago are gone for UF like Matt Elam, Jeff Bostic, and Jelani Jenkins so returning players like Jaylen Watkins, Antonio Morrision, and Michael Taylor will be expected to emerge as leaders and Dominique Easley is going to need to improve on his four sacks from last season. The Gators travel to Miami next week for a big one so don’t expect them to show more than they need to here.

Florida Gators Vs. Toledo Rockets Free Pick 8/31/13

USA TODAY Sports

The Toledo Rockets were ranked in the top 25 at one point last season but it didn’t last long and while they finished the season with a respectable record Matt Campbell’s team had to live with the taste of a 41-15 loss to Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl all offseason. Campbell is the youngest Head Coach in the nation and once again his offense is loaded with QB Terrance Owens having a year under his belt and taking most of the plays last season. David Fluellen was one of the top running backs in the country last season rushing for nearly 1,500 yards and he missed a game and was injured in the bowl game. Wide receiver Bernard Reedy led Toledo in receiving last season with 88 grabs and Alonzo Russell had 56 catches but he is an absolute burner. The Toledo defense was moved up and down the field and if it wasn’t for their ability to force turnovers it could have been real ugly. Trent Moss is the Rockets’ best tackler and safety Ross Madison has played plenty. The Corners are strong for Toledo led by Cheatham Norrils and Jatrone Elliot brings the pass rush from one of the defensive end spots. The Rockets upset plenty of teams in 2012 but they aren’t going to sneak up on anyone in 2013.

Florida is 0-4 against the spread in their last four home games, 2-6 against the spread against the MAC, and 1-5 against the spread in their last six games. Toledo is 4-1 against the spread on a natural surface and 1-4 against the spread in their last five games.

Florida struggled out of the gate in their opener a year ago and while I don’t see then having all that much trouble with Toledo’s defense, there are some question marks for the Gators on both sides of the ball. While we may not see an upset, though I certainly don’t rule that out, this is way too many points against a team who can score like Toledo so even if the Gators get a big lead the backdoor cover is always a possibility.

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Toledo Rockets +24

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