College Football Preview: The 2014 Florida Gators
Can The Florida Gators bounce Back From A Dismal 2013?
2014 College Football Preview
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Overview: The Florida Gators are hoping to rebound from arguably their worst season in program history. The Gators ended their season on a seven-game losing streak, finished 4-8 and missed a bowl game for the first time since 1990. Head coach Will Muschamp is clearly on the hot seat this year and Florida fans are eager to see what this season holds because their patience is running thin. Florida better be a lot more competitive than it was a year ago or there are sure to be major shakeups during the offseason.
Offense: Florida’s entire offensive unit is a major question mark. Quarterback Jeff Driskel has done pretty much nothing to instill confidence that he can be a legitimate starter. Florida’s wide receiver depth is unproven and shaky at best. The Gators also have offensive line depth issues that includes several backups who haven’t even seen collegiate playing time. The one area that gives this unit hope is the running back position, as Kelvin Taylor is a blossoming star and there’s enough depth behind him with Matt Jones and Mack Brown. New offensive coordinator Kurt Roper has his work cut out for him, as this unit did rank in the bottom of college football last season.
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Defense: Florida had the second best defense in the SEC last year and that’s something that shouldn’t change. Vernon Hargreaves may be the best cornerback in college football and Dante Fowler is a Top 10 pick if he lives up to the potential. The Gators have seven of their top nine tacklers from last season returning and are as physical as any defense in the country. If Antonio Morrison can return from injury and Jonathan Bullard can have his breakout season, the Gators defense is going to remain one of the best in the country. This side of the ball will always give the Gators a fighting chance.
Special Teams: Austin Hardin made just four of 12 field goal attempts, but he’s returning for another year and looked solid in the spring game. Johnny Townsend returns at punter and hopes to have another decent season.
Outlook: Florida can be as good as it wants to be depending on how the offense performs. If the Gators struggle to move the ball longer than the length of a coffee table, they will continue to struggle in the SEC. If the offense comes anywhere close to being as good as the defense, this team could win the SEC East. It all comes down to the offense. Either way, Florida has a chance to be the biggest turnaround in college football and there’s potential to make a lot of money on this team this season.