Saturday, September 17, 2011
Lots of orange here in Gainesville
By Edward Aschoff
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Greetings from The Swamp!
The weather is perfect down here. It's a little overcast, but it feels like any football Saturday should feel in the South.
My first indication that it was game day was this morning when I went down for a little continental breakfast in my hotel and saw some people wearing orange and blue shirts with Dominique Easley's name and number on the back crushing the complementary breakfast. They came out in full force to support Easley, but started the day by dismantling that food. Well done.
Tennessee's football team walked out onto Florida Field around two hours before game time to check out the surroundings. Decked out in their finest suits, the Vols soaked it all in, walking over the big orange "F" in the middle of the field, calling people on their cell phones and bobbing their heads to the beat of the music blaring in their headphones.
You could tell who the freshmen were by the way they stopped and starred at "This is ... Gator Country" painted on a wall near the north end zone. Still, you could sense the business-like attitude coming from the Vols.
As for Florida, it looks like the Gators are going with the blue tops this afternoon. As they should. One player who won't be wearing his pads today is junior cornerback Jeremy Brown. Brown has yet to play this season because of a knee injury and has been left off the dress roster again. Freshman Marcus Roberson or sophomore Jaylen Watkins will start opposite senior Moses Jenkins or sophomore Cody Riggs.
We'll see how Florida's young secondary holds up against Tyler Bray and his nice duo of tall, fast wide receivers in Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers. Hunter stands 6-foot-4, while Rogers is 6-3. Jenkins is Florida's tallest corner at 6-3, but after him Roberson and Watkins are both 6-foot.
It should be a fun one inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, but my eyes are hurting from all that orange down there and all the orange I've seen since last night.
Get your sunglasses ready!