No. 24 Florida first SEC test for Aggies

Associated Press Modified: September 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm •  Published: September 7, 2012
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — No easy opener. No chance to work out the kinks against some lower-division team.

Thanks to Hurricane Isaac, Texas A&M and Louisiana Tech postponed last week's game in Shreveport until Oct. 13. That means Texas A&M will open its season — and life in the Southeastern Conference — against No. 24 Florida on Saturday.

Whether it will be an advantage to the Gators or the Aggies, no one's really sure.

"This is our first game," new Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said. "You can't worry about that. We can't change what happened last week. It's how you approach it. There are positives and negatives to both. I think any coach would tell you that."

Sure, Florida had a chance to figure out its quarterback situation and work out some kinks. But last week's 27-14 win over Bowling Green also gave the Aggies some tape to look at, something the Gators didn't have this week. Last year's tape isn't much help since Sumlin is in his first year at Texas A&M after being hired from Houston in December.

"We are in a little bit of a guessing game from the standpoint of them not playing, but that's always with the first game," Florida coach Will Muschamp said. "You go through that as a coach. You kind of go through it when you go into a bowl game and you have that much time off with some different wrinkles that they may give you. We just need to adjust to what we're doing."

Florida cornerback Jaylen Watkins said the Gators have been watching tape from Sumlin's high-flying offenses at Houston to prepare.

"They have a quick tempo," Watkins said. "They try to get you out of rhythm when you're looking back. Sometimes they look back and they hike the ball when you're trying to get your call from your coaches. They try to catch you off balance when you're not paying attention."

These teams are similar in that they both have quarterbacks who are in their first season as starters. Muschamp named Jeff Driskel his starter Monday after alternating between he and Jacoby Brissett against Bowling Green.

"He just wants me to go out there and play and not worry about looking over my shoulder," Driskel said of Muschamp. "He wants me to play loose and calm and that's what I'm going to do."

Driskel will be helped by having running back Mike Gillislee in the backfield with him. Gillislee got off to a great start last week, running 24 times for 148 yards and two touchdowns.

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