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UF-Florida Atlantic scouting report

By ANTONYA ENGLISH, Times Staff Writer
Published November 17, 2007


No. 14 Florida (7-3) vs. Florida Atlantic (5-4), noon

With its SEC season complete, the Gators return home to play the Owls for the first time. But don't be fooled by the Sun Belt conference label. A win over 1-10 Minnesota of the Big Ten on Sept. 15 isn't a big deal. But FAU also gave then-No. 6 USF a scare before losing 35-23 on Oct. 6. The Owls average 396.7 yards, including 276.8 passing, so Florida's secondary will again be tested. While that unit has shown slight improvement over the past few games, Florida still is allowing nearly 250 passing yards per game. FAU's Rusty Smith has thrown at least one touchdown in the past seven games and has 20 this season, four shy of the school record. Florida will be without sophomore receiver Percy Harvin for the second straight game due to migraines. Tim Tebow needs three rushing touchdowns to tie the NCAA record for quarterbacks, and Andre Caldwell needs nine catches to surpass Carlos Alvarez's school record of 172 set from 1969-71. Asked about Tebow, FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger said, "I liken him to a Clark Kent or a Superman, whichever way you want to go about it."