Franks expects challenge from Florida's receivers

January, 4, 2009
1/04/09
4:57
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Even as he discounted Florida quarterback Tim Tebow among his ranking of top Big 12 quarterbacks, Oklahoma cornerback Dominique Franks doesn't have any reason to diminish some of Tebow's weapons.

Franks said he is impressed with Florida's athleticism at wide receiver as the Sooners prepare for Thursday's FedEx BCS National Championship Game.

"Those guys have a lot of speed and I expect a lot of deep balls to test us vertically," Franks said. "We're going to have to make sure we don't give up any big plays and keep everything in front of us. And when they do catch the ball, we have to make sure we get them down on the ground and not get any yardage after the catch."

The Gators have five receivers who have more than 10 catches and average more than 14.5 yards per catch. Their prime playmakers are two threats who both averaged a stout 17.0 yards per catch. Senior Louis Murphy leads the Gators with 36 catches and junior running back/wide receiver Percy Harvin paces the team with seven TD grabs and also averaged 8.8 yards per carry and scored nine TDs on only 61 carries.

"This is going to be another great test," Franks said. "We haven't faced receivers this fast. Especially the way that Tebow throws the ball -- he just throws it up and they go get it. We have to know what's coming."

Harvin sustained a sprained ankle in the Gators' victory over Florida State and didn't see action in Florida's SEC title game triumph over Alabama. Coach Urban Meyer said he expects Harvin to play in Thursday's game.

Franks said he wants to beat the Gators with Harvin healthy for Thursday's game.

"We don't want any excuses," Franks said. "I hope he plays. He's a great player and even when he's not 100 percent, just being on the field will give them a whole different dynamic in the offense. All those guys are fast, but we just don't want to let them into open space. I think we'll be ready for the challenge."

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