No. 23 Florida looks to improve to 3-0 as the Gators face North Texas out of the Conference USA this Saturday. This will be the second-ever meeting between these two programs -- North Texas, which lost to SMU in its season opener, actually went into Gainesville and notched a win back in 1947, so the Mean Green lead the series 1-0.
Both of these teams are coming off of wins. Florida thrashed Kentucky to beat the Wildcats for 30 straight seasons, winning by a score of 45-7. Florida's defense has been incredibly dominant in its first two games against UK and UMass -- it ranks second in the nation after two games, and the Gators' 14 points allowed this season are the fewest they've surrendered in their first two games of a season since 2011.
Last week North Texas steamrolled Bethune Cookman, 41-20. The offense was led by running backs Jeffrey Wilson and Andrew Tucker, who accounted for two touchdowns each.
How to watch, stream and listen
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU.
Online streaming: Saturday's game can be found on WatchESPN.
Spread: Florida is favored by 35 points.
Make friends: Get to SB Nation’s team blog chats for this game at Alligator Army for Florida fans.
Three big things to know
1. Will Muschamp is gone, but Florida's dominant defense is not. Yes, Florida has only played in two games against both Kentucky and North Texas. But Florida's defense has statistically been good in its first two games. Last week against Kentucky, the secondary recorded three interceptions and held the Wildcats to less than 60 yards passing. That's just the ninth time since 1996 that that’s been done by an SEC team.
2. Florida's offense has new life. I know, these numbers are against Kentucky, and Kentucky is bad. However, the 564 yards that the Gators put up against the Wildcats was their highest mark in an SEC game since the Gators totaled 571 total yards against Vanderbilt on Nov. 3, 2001. North Texas' defense is currently giving up an average of 402 total yards per game. We'll see if Florida can maintain that pace on Saturday against the Mean Green.
3. Florida's offense has to work out its kinks before Tennessee week. Because Florida's performance last week was so dominant, it's easy to be overconfident in the offense before facing Tennessee next week. However, North Texas will give Luke Del Rio a chance to gain even more confidence, if possible, given his 350-yard, four TD performance from last week. The run game was much more effective against Kentucky than the in the opener against UMass, so keeping that balance should be an emphasis for setting the tone early.