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Monday August 27, 2012Countdown to Kickoff: Florida vs. Bowling Green Game Notes

Gainesville, Fla.

The wait is almost over, football season arrives on Saturday when the Gators open their 106th season of play against the Bowling Green Falcons at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN. The Gators finished the 2011 season with a 7-6 record and Gator Bowl win over Ohio State, Muschamp looks to lead a team that returns plenty of talent. The defense returns 10 of 11 starters, while the offense returns seven starters.


Get ready for Saturday’s match-up with this week’s game notes:


The Storyline:

• This year’s squad features 67 underclassmen (30 true freshmen, 12 redshirt freshmen, 25 sophomores) and just 14 seniors.

• New Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Brent Pease has brought some changes to the Gators’ offense that will be evident from his time on staff at Boise State, where he served in the same role in 2011 and previously coached the Broncos’ wide receivers.

• A veteran offensive line, which has combined for 79 career starts, will pave the way for senior running back Mike Gillislee, who has 930 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns as a reserve the past three years.

• On the defensive side of the ball, Muschamp will team with Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach Dan Quinn as they look to create more turnovers in 2012 after having only 14 last season.

• The depth of the defensive line is much improved in 2012, featuring returning starters Sharrif Floyd, Omar Hunter and Dominique Easley.

• Linebackers Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins will hold down the middle of the defense, while safeties Matt Elam and Josh Evans provide a solid duo on the back end. A wealth of young, talented defensive backs will be a strength of this stout defensive unit.

• Kicker Caleb Sturgis, a 2011 Lou Groza Award finalist, returns as a pre-season All-America pick by most major outlets and hopes to continue his form from last season. Punter Kyle Christy took over the punting duties late last season as a true freshman and will be relied on again this year.


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