The Florida Gators plan to experiment on special teams against the Eastern Washington Eagles on Sunday, with true freshman kicker Trey Smack expected to make his collegiate debut and handle kickoff duties according to Graham Hall of Swamp247.
Redshirt freshman and Florida's starting kicker for each game this season, Adam Mihalek, will continue to handle field goal and extra point duties. He's 3-of-4 and 10-of-10 in those respective categories so far this season after beating Smack out for the starting role initially to begin the campaign.
The duo has been listed as co-first-teamers at placekicker and on kickoffs every week to begin this season, although Smack has yet to take the field.
“The competition between me and him has been really good, Mihalek said on September 14, referring to his battles with Smack throughout the fall. "Trey is a really good kicker, brings the best out of both of us.
"Just like, I love competing my whole life, I played soccer prior to football so I’ve been through like certain situations, where it has just has been really competitive and I’ve just been able to handle certain things I guess you could say but I feel like having a competitive edge just it allowed me to be able to get here.”
While Mihalek, whose only field goal miss came from 51 yards out against the Tennessee Volunteers in Week 4, has done a solid job within his role to this point, the Gators certainly could use some improvement when it comes to setting opposing offenses up in less than ideal situations via kicks.
Only nine of Mihalek's 21 kickoffs have resulted in touchbacks this season, with the opponent's average starting field position at the 28.7-yard-line according to Pro Football Focus. Tennessee's average drive against Florida this past Saturday began at the 36.2-yard-line with returns averaging 31.5 yards per attempt, per PFF, Mihalek's worst marks of the season in each category so far.
While Smack's reported promotion isn't necessarily reflected on the Gators' Week 5 depth chart, this is one of several tweaks Florida is expected to make to its lineup entering its matchup with the Eagles.
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