2013 Results: 4-8 5th in the East (3-5); No bowl game for the first time in 22 years
2013 Highlight: Offensive improvement until injuries hit.
2013 Lowlight: Home loss to FCS Georgia Southern
2014 Outlook: Gator fans are hoping last year was an aberration. Given all of the injuries and players with lack of experience playing, it very well could have been. The Gators need all around improvement. Last year’s starter at QB Jeff Driskel returns this year from a leg injury that cost him the final 9 games last season. He will greatly help with offensive improvement. Once again this season Will Muschamp will be on the hot seat. He’s lost three in a row to rival Georgia and probably can’t afford to make that four if he wants to keep his job.
Biggest Issue to Solve: Offense. New Offensive Coordinator Kurt Roper comes in from Duke and brings with him a no huddle, spread shotgun offense. Last year’s offensive numbers for the Gators were not good; 12th in the conference in passing, 13th in rushing offense, dead last in total offense and scoring offense. They ranked 107th, 87th, 112th and 113th respectively in each of those categories in the NCAA. Any improvement from those numbers will be welcomed.
Key Players: QB Jeff Driskel, RB Matt Jones, DL Dante Fowler Jr., DB Vernon Hargreaves III
Most Important Game: Nov. 1st vs. Georgia in Jacksonville, FL; the Gators could potential be 2-3 or 3-2 in conference play going into this game and a win or loss could be pivotal to their season and how they finish in the SEC.
Media Prediction (SEC finish): 3rd SEC East
My Prediction (SEC finish): 4th SEC East (4-4)
My Overall Record Prediction: 7-5
Why?: I believe the Gators will improve over last year’s forgettable performance and at some point Florida will be the Florida we all remember. They have some winnable home games this year that can help their confidence and their record. Will Muschamp is a decent coach, but he has to get his defense up to his standard to keep his job and compete in the SEC.
Next: Georgia Bulldogs