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Mountaineers not talking Michigan before facing Gators

Florida
Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

For this week’s blog exchange, Swamp Things turned to Tommy Bowman of the Winston-Salem Journal. Tommy covers Appalachian State, so be sure to check out his stories and his blog.

1. Quarterback DeAndre Presley seems like he’s been successful running this year. Why is that? Is that something the Mountaineers hope to take advantage of vs. a Florida team that hasn’t contained running QBs well?

One of the staples of ASU’s Spread offense the past four seasons, with Armanti Edwards at quarterback, has been the quarterback running the ball frequently — both as result of designed plays such as a quarterback draw, and scrambling ability from the pocket when the quarterback sees an opening. Presley has similar-type running ability (he might not have the explosiveness or quite the elusiveness that Edwards had, but he might actually be faster). Edwards was pulled back from running so much as a senior, and Presley has actually carried the ball more this season. It is a big part of the Mountaineers’ offense, and a quarterback with running ability can keep defenses honest. Presley, who is from Tampa, leads the Mountaineers in rushing with 72.7 yards a game.

2. The Mountaineers seem to have a pretty balanced offensive attack. Who are the players to watch in the running and passing game, besides Presley?

Travaris Cadet, who has been a quarterback and receiver and does most of ASU’s punt returns, was moved to running back this season. He is the rushing leader among the running backs (52.1 ypg) but his status isn’t certain as result of a hip pointer sustained last Saturday. Devon Moore is a more conventional running back and was ASU’s leading rusher last season, with 1,374 yards. He had his first 100-yard rushing game last Saturday against Wofford. Presley does a pretty good job of spreading the passes around, but I suspect that tight end Ben Jorden — whose grandfather J.T. Martin played for the 1969 New York Mets championship team — might be a viable target Saturday. The Mountaineers’ big-play threat at receiver is Brian Quick, a 6-5, 220-pound junior who is an NFL prospect.

3. What’s one thing Florida fans should know about the defense?

It has improved over the course of the season, after a shaky start. The thing to watch for Saturday, I think, is how well its secondary can defend the pass. The Mountaineers have played teams the last two weeks, Georgia Southern and Wofford, that do little other than run the ball. Plus, the Mountaineers will likely be without strong safety Mark LeGree, who has 22 career interceptions, as result of a hamstring injury. One of the Mountaineers’ cornerbacks will move to strong safety, leaving the Mountaineers with a corner who hasn’t started. John Brantley could have a big day.

4. Appalachian State has 24 sacks, and the Gators’ pass protection has not been good this season. Do the coaches and players see that as one of the keys to the game?

The Mountaineers typically get good pressure on the quarterbacks with their defensive ends. Jabari Fletcher and John Rizor are the ones to watch there.

5. How much as Jerry Moore (or any of the coaches) talked about the 2007 Michigan win? Are they using that as motivation?

Really, not that much this week. But, of course, that victory undoubtedly does provide an underlying sense of confidence. The Mountaineers do have a few players from the team that beat Michigan. Moore likes the idea of playing bowl-division teams. The Mountaineers have played LSU twice the last few years, and have Virginia Tech next season and Georgia in 2013.


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