Florida to start sans safety Saunders

No. 23 Florida will be without safety De’Ante ”Pop” Saunders for the first two games of the college football season.

Coach Will Muschamp says Saunders will ”sit the first two games right now.” Muschamp declined to say whether Saunders has been suspended, but the coach says the sophomore from DeLand would have missed Saturday’s season opener against Bowling Green, anyway, because of a hamstring injury.

Saunders also will sit out Florida’s Southeastern Conference opener at Texas A&M, a game in which the Aggies are expected to throw the ball early and often.

Saunders was suspended for last year’s game against Alabama for a violation of team rules. He started nine of the remaining 12 games. He finished with 26 tackles and a team-high two interceptions.