The Florida Gators football team knows exactly where it stands as the 2014 season approaches.
The footing is not as sturdy as the team or its head coach, Will Muschamp, wants it be an SEC schedule that once again could bury this team looks to be the only obstacle in the boys from Gainesville possibly flip flopping the 4-8 record they had last year. Something has to give. Something has to be better on offensive and the performance of returning quarterback Jeff Driskel has to prove this is an offense worthy of competing on college football’s greatest stage. There is no way of getting around the fact Driskel and the offense has to deliver this season.
There is hope on the range down in Gainesville with the return of the junior quarterback from a broken ankle and a running game led by the son of a Gators legend in the backfield. A new offensive coordinator in Kurt Roper from Duke provides hope while a handful of other SEC teams try to figure out if it can win with a new signal caller – one of the best things the Gators could encounter in their ascension up the ranks of contenders. Georgia, Alabama, LSU and South Carolina all face the Gators defense, hoping the replacements for starters who own a win over them do worse than their predecessors.
Having seen what happened without him last season, the Gators can ill afford to lose Driskel again this season. That makes him the most important player for Florida this season. If Driskel is injured and/or ineffective, Roper will have to be very creative to put enough points on the board to help the Gators win games.
Driskel is not spectacular, but he’s the best option for Florida at this time. In his career, Driskel has connected on 62.9 percent of his passes for 2,271 yards, with 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He has also rushed for 469 yards and five scores.
It does not look like incoming freshman Will Greer will be the savior in his first year the fans and the school hoped he would be – but that does not mean he won’t be used in offensive packages this year, much like Tim Tebow was as a freshman.
This might not be a Tebow-like offense that the Gators will run this season, but it should be more exciting and durable than last season when it looked as if the team could not get out of its own way.