NCAA Football – Week 1
Give credit to Bowling Green for trying to enhance its football program with such a high-profile opening day game, but the mid-major from the Mid-American Conference could be in way over its head considering that it only won three conference games last season. The Falcons finished 5-7 overall and ended-up in fourth-place in the MAC’s East Division at 3-5.
They come into this season with renewed optimism for a better season in 2012 behind quarterback Matt Schilz. Last year as a sophomore, he threw for 3,024 yards and 28 touchdowns. The Falcons will also have running back Anthon Samuel back in the lineup. He led the team in rushing in 2011 with 844 yards on 144 carries. It is doubtful that Bowling Green’s defense will be a match for the Gators, but it might be able to put some points on the board to try and cover the spread.
Florida is in somewhat of a rebuilding mode after posting a 7-6 record last season that includes a very disappointing 3-5 record in SEC play. The Gators come into this season ranked 23rd in the AP preseason poll as many experts believe that the team has already gone through its growing pains with Will Muschamp, who will be entering his second season at the helm as head coach. They will have a number of new faces on offense including quarterback Jacoby Brissett. He only threw a total of 39 passes last season, but earned the starting role through his performance this past spring and in summer camp.
The real strength of the Gators will be on the defensive side of the ball. They took a blow with the loss of defensive end Ronald Powell after he injured his knee in the spring, but there is still plenty of talent throughout this unit, especially in the secondary. The offense may struggle early in this game, but the defense should be ready to go right out of the gate.
These kind of opening day games can be scary to predict as 29 points is a large spread to cover no matter which two teams are on the field. Given the fact that the Gators need to get off to a strong start to erase the memory of last season, they will most likely keep their foot on the gas for all four quarters. You may want to think about taking the Falcons with a first half line, but in the end, Florida pulls away to cover. Florida 48 Bowling Green 17