Spring Gleaning: Florida Will Soar, Yates Still UNC's Chief Concern

A review of college football spring games.

Florida's biggest problem last fall was a lack of production from the deep passing game. Blame it on Tim Tebow's difficulties in seeing open receivers down the field, or on Deonte Thompson's crippling case of the drops, but the Gators were increasingly one-dimensional against good defenses, and it cost them against Alabama. 2010 will be different: John Brantley, star of Saturday's Orange and Blue Debut will be the trigger man for a more vertical attack, and a deep receiving corps should help the Gators riddle secondaries.

The worries for North Carolina will be on offense. The Tar Heels defense is fierce and talented, and racked up five interceptions and eight sacks in Saturday's spring game, but T.J. Yates hasn't inspired confidence in his three years in Chapel Hill so far. The Heels could be the class of the ACC by midseason if Yates can be more than merely adequate, but they could also struggle to make a New Year's Day bowl if he cannot put it together.

Expect the same old Steve Spurrier if you're a South Carolina fan: The Ol' Ball Coach used four quarterbacks in the Gamecocks' Garnet and Black game, and hasn't committed to Stephen Garcia, the presumed starter, for the fall. Somewhere, Noah Brindise nods knowingly.

Georgia fans would love for their defense to imitate something other than a sieve in 2010, and early indications say that will be the case. The Bulldogs got decent play from their new 3-4 scheme in Saturday's G-Day game, which should allow fans to start worrying about the brewing quarterback quandary: Zach Mettenberger outplayed Logan Gray and Aaron Murray on Saturday, but he's suspended for Georgia's opener, so Mark Richt may have multiple starters this fall.

The transition from a legend at Florida State will probably get more play when it's a real game taking place on Bobby Bowden Field. Having Christian Ponder around, though, will ease the switch to Jimbo Fisher at head coach. Ponder threw for two scores and ran for another in the Garnet and Gold game, and should be both a fringe Heisman candidate and a prime candidate for puff pieces -- you will hear that Ponder is in graduate school about 4,582 times this fall -- during his senior season.

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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