GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- One week late, No. 11 Florida opens its season Saturday when it hosts Eastern Michigan.
The Gators were supposed to entertain Middle Tennessee State on Saturday but the game was postponed by the threat of Hurricane Frances and rescheduled for October 16. That gives the Gators just one game to prepare for next week's showdown with Tennessee.
Having dropped one spot in the coaches' poll, Florida is looking for its 16th consecutive season-opening victory. Embattled Ron Zook enters his third season as coach, coming off an 8-5 campaign that ended with a loss to Iowa in the Outback Bowl.
Quarterback Chris Leak comes into the season with experience under his belt. As a freshman last season, Leak went 6-1 against the SEC and 3-1 against top-15 teams, setting school freshman records for touchdown passes, completions and yards.
Eastern Michigan is coming off a 37-34 home victory over Mid-American Conference foe Buffalo on September 2 that gave new coach Jeff Genyk his first win at the helm of a Division I program.
Dual threat Matt Bohnet had 92 yards on 23 carries and completed 11-of-20 passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner to Chris Talley with 7:52 left. Anthony Sherrell rushed for 151 yards and a score for the Eagles, who may have a tough time containing the Gators after surrendering 399 yards to Buffalo.
Florida never has faced Eastern Michigan but is 10-1 all-time against MAC schools. The only loss came in the 1973 Tangerine Bowl to Miami of Ohio, a squad that boasted a defensive back named Ron Zook.