Friday, June 25, 2021

Daniels: Key to Beating Florida is Getting Kelly in Rhythm Early

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Scenes from the Florida Gators’ Orange & Blue Debut, Presented by Sunniland Corp. / UAA Communications photo by Tim Casey (Photo courtesy Florida Gators Facebook page)

Ole Miss travels to Gainesville following a hard fought victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores 27-16.

Florida will have the home field advantage in The Swamp as they are coming off of three straight close wins with a touchdown win over East Carolina, a five point win over the Kentucky Wildcats, and a one point, comeback win over the Tennessee Volunteers last weekend. Florida has the third most wins over AP Top 5 teams since 2007 with six. These are two teams with a Top 25 ranking facing each other Saturday.

Chad Kelly is coming off of a pretty good performance against Vanderbilt but not as near as impressive as his game against Alabama. Against Vanderbilt, Chad Kelly went 24/42 for 321 yards, a touchdown with a couple of interceptions. Chad Kelly leads the SEC in passing yards with 1,219 yards.

The Rebels had just 151 rushing yards as a team last weekend against the Commodores as the majority of those yards came from Jaylen Walton. Walton had 21 carries for 133 yards and a touchdown against the Derek Mason led defense. A key to to ground game against this Florida defense is get the Chad Kelly zone read going. Kelly rushed for negative yards last weekend but he will need to be well into the positive figures to help the ground game.

Laquon Treadwell has looked better and better every week and is starting to settle back in following his brutal leg injury a season ago. Last weekend, Treadwell had eight receptions for 135 yards. Damore’ea Stringfellow caught the only touchdown pass of the game against the Commodores defense with four receptions for 71 yards.

Evan Engram is still waiting on that big moment offensively. He had three receptions for 41 yards last week. Quincy Adeboyejo has been very big lately but went without a catch against Vanderbilt. Adeboyejo hopefully will pick it back up and be a big target for Kelly as the Gators will have All-American Defensive Back Vernon Hargreaves III glued to All-American Receiver Laquon Treadwell. The Rebels’ receiving corps against the Gators’ defensive backs should be a match up to watch.

The “Landshark Defense” has given up some points this season. They are giving up an average of 19.3 points per game, but are still being troublesome for offenses and continue to be a force to be reckoned with. They will match up against Will Grier leading the Gators’ offense at quarterback. Grier has been starting lately and is said to get the start Saturday. Despite his comeback effort against Tennessee, Jim McElwain expressed his disappointed with Grier’s performance saying that his final two drives were simply what he was supposed to do.

The key to winning this football game is getting Chad Kelly in a rhythm early either in passing game or the running game or a mixture of both. Though Kelly is amazing in the pocket, moving him out of the pocket could help prevent the Gator defensive line from being disruptive. If Kelly can be effective in an environment like Bryant-Denny, he can be just as effective in The Swamp.

My Pick: Ole Miss over Florida 31-20


Grant DanielsGrant Daniels, a student at Oxford High School, is sports correspondent for HottyToddy.com. Email him at hottytoddynews@gmail.com

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