Will Muschamp is shaking up the lineup heading into the No. 19 Florida Gators’ (1-1, 0-0) SEC opener against Tennessee (2-1, 0-1). A noticeable switch at safety highlights the 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 No. 16 Miami (2-0, 0-0), blowing a coverage on Phillip Dorsett’s 52-yard TD reception and whiffing on a pair of tackles. With Watkins sliding to safety, freshman defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III is now the backup at both cornerback spots and should see increased playing time.
Other depth chart changes include Antonio Morrison moving into the starting role at middle linebacker and right guard Jon Halapio (torn pectoral) returning from injury as the starter at right guard. The Gators better hope more than just the faces on the field have changed since the self-inflicted loss to the Hurricanes two weeks ago.
What to look for in Week 4: Was the Miami game just a fluke, or is this Florida offense really that inconsistent? There’s no reason to think the Gators’ defense can’t shut down Tennessee, or anyone else, so all the offense needs to do is protect the football and get a few points on the board to start 1-0 in SEC play and extend the winning streak against the Vols to nine games. That shouldn’t be that hard, in theory. How difficult Jeff Driskel and the Gators have proven they can actually make it, however, is another story.