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Colleges

Gators notes: Opposing coach familiar with Swamp

Florida Today
Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 03:18 PM
GAINESVILLE -

Second-year Miami of Ohio coach Mike Haywood, who was once offered a job by Urban Meyer while at Notre Dame as an assistant, knows quite a lot about this Saturday's opening opponent.

"I've been to Florida on four different occasions and the Swamp is a loud place to go and play and their fans, no matter if they are up and down, their fans are definitely great supporters and get into the game," said Haywood, who was an also an assistant at LSU for several years. "We talked to our players about embracing the atmosphere. The stadium will be sold out but the only people you have to compete against are the 11 people that are on the field at that one time."

GOOD ENOUGH: UF senior S Ahmad Black said despite all the losses to the NFL that the Gators' defense should be very good. He played a big part in the 2008 defense that won the national title. And this year?

"We're very capable of going to the national championship," he said.

EXCITING TIME: John Brantley on his first career start as Florida's quarterback on Saturday: "I've been waiting three years. I'm very excited for this moment to come."

Brantley played golf with his father on Sunday and the two talked about how excited they were for the moment to finally be here. The elder Brantley was also a UF quarterback.

"We're going to try to enjoy it as much as we can," John said.

He added he will be nervous on Saturday but "If you're not nervous, something's wrong." He'd love to throw a deep ball early but joked he might, "Throw it out of the stadium," he'll be so fired up.

NEW FEELING: C Mike Pouncey has always played with his twin Maurkice until this season. Saturday's season opener will be the first football game Mike hasn't played without his brother.

Maurkice left for the NFL and is starting at center for the Pittsburgh Steelers in preseason after being taken in the first round of the draft.

"I'm used to have having somebody to walk to class with because we took the same classes. ... We've gone different ways in life. It was going to happen one day," Mike said.

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