Emerging Florida Offense Will Be Auburn’s Toughest Test Yet

By Posted on: October 11th, 2006 in Football Comments Off

After the win over LSU many thought that Auburn’s next big defensive test would be against Florida. Then came last week and the upstart Arkansas ground attack. The bad news is Florida hasn’t gone anywhere. Florida still remains the best offense the Tigers will face this season.

Going into the season many believed that Urban Meyer’s offense couldn’t work in the SEC. It’s one thing to pull it off at Utah and Bowling Green, but playing in the SEC is a different story. One could argue that the jury’s still out on Meyer’s offense. But you can’t say his unit hasn’t gotten better every week.

Chris Leak is starting to perform like the heralded quarterback that came to Florida with such high expectations. While Gators fans still don’t give him the credit he deserves, he’s made a believer out of most everyone in the conference. Leak has completed 65% of his passes and thrown for 1,395 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Gators offense is average 29 points a game. That’s not bad for a group that has faced Alabama, Tennessee and LSU already this season.And then there’s Mr. Everything, Tim Tebow. He should take a good look at how Leak is handling all the criticism from the home crowd, because chances are he’ll be in the same position three years from now. 

We should give Tebow credit. Everyone in the country knows that when he comes in at quarterback, he’s going to run. And yet, no one can stop him. Not even LSU. Tebow has run for 228 yards and 3 touchdowns in spot duty this season. If he learns to throw the ball consistently in the SEC, then the conference better look out. This guy could be Heisman material. Then again, he could just be Chris Leak.

Auburn’s defense will also have to be on the lookout for wide receiver Dallas Baker. He’s Leak’s go to guy and has nearly 500 yards of receiving already. And to make things even tougher, running back Deshawn Wynn is expected back in the lineup after suffering an ankle injury.

Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp will have to pull off the comeback of a lifetime to beat Florida. Arkansas exposed every weakness his unit has and you can bet Florida’s watched it and learned from it. 

With all of that said, there are still plenty of reasons for Auburn to work hard and be ready Saturday night. The Tigers have the talent on the defensive side of the ball to win. They also have something to prove. Before last week, Auburn was considered one of the best defenses in the country. A win Saturday night will put them back there.

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