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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

With the Gators set to take on Tennessee this Saturday, UF coach Urban Meyer said he is still worried about his defensive line.

"I think if we hold up against the run, (we'll be OK)," Meyer said. "My biggest concern is that defensive line going up against a (Southeastern Conference) offensive line."

Aside from the offensive line, Tennessee also features three outstanding running backs in LaMarcus Coker, Arian Foster and Montario Hardesty.

After two disappointing performances by defensive tackles Clint McMillan and Javier Estopinan to begin the season, Meyer hinted last week that the two could be replaced in the starting lineup.

But for now, Meyer said Thursday, he?ll stick with the two veterans.

JAMES, ANDERSON READY: Sophomore running back and return specialist Brandon James is "full speed" and sophomore cornerback Markihe Anderson is expected to be close to 100 percent for Saturday, Meyer said.

Anderson still likely won't start, meaning true freshman Joe Haden and sophomore Wondy Pierre-Louis will start at corner for the third straight week.

NEWTON IMPROVING: Meyer said true freshman Cameron Newton has improved, and the coach is now more comfortable with putting the quarterback on the field should the situation dictate such a move.

He compared Newton to former UF quarterback Josh Portis, who occasionally saw the field in his true freshman season.

He said neither quarterback came into UF at the same level as current starter Tim Tebow.

"Josh was a young quarterback and so is Cam, so there are some parallels there," Meyer said. "I think Tim was an exception. He?s a little more mature than most guys.

"Cam Newton's had a good week of practice. I think he?s as close as he?s ever been."

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