The Florida Gators enter the 2014 with a number of questions on the offensive side of the ball. After finishing with a disappointing 4-8 record last season, new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper will look to bring a more prolific offense to Florida this year.
Florida lost two of it's top receivers following last season, as Solomon Patton and Trey Burton have graduated and moved on. Patton and Burton were two of the top three receivers for the Gators last season, with Patton leading the team with 44 receptions for 556 yards and six touchdowns, all team highs. Burton finished the season with the third most receptions on the team, hauling in 38 passes for 445 yards and one score.
Heading into 2014, wide receiver Quinton Dunbar comes in as the top receiver. He was the second leading receiver the previous year, as he caught 40 passes for 548 yards, but he failed to haul in a touchdown.
Receiver Ahmad Fulwood will also look to play a bigger role for the Gators heading into this season. In limited action last season, the freshman wide receiver caught 17 passes for 127 yards and one touchdown. Standing in at 6-foot-4, Fulwood possess great size for a receiver on the outside, and could pose as a deep threat for opposing defenses.
Florida has recently moved running back Valdez Showers to wide receiver for the 2014 season, and he could be competing with Latroy Pittman for the third spot on the depth chart.
Both Showers and Pittman are relatively inexperienced at playing receiver in the SEC. Last season the two combined for a total of 20 receptions for 120 yards and one touchdown. While last season's numbers aren't impressive by any stretch of the imagination, the overall inexperience of the team's wide receivers will open the door for them to have a bigger impact this season.
Tight end Clay Burton will likely be slotted in as the team's starting tight end. He has the most experience of any tight end on the roster, and started nine games last season for the Gators. Despite starting nine games for Florida in 2014, Burton made just one reception on the year for 12 yards, something that will have to change this season.
The receivers will also be helped by more consistent quarterback play. Florida played four different quarterbacks last season (Tyler Murphy, Jeff Driskel, Skyler Mornhinwig, and Kyle Cristy), but Jeff Driskel enters 2014 as the team's starter.
Last season, Driskel started three games, but suffered a season ending injury when he fractured his leg against Tennessee in a 31-17 victory. He completed a high percentage of his passes in the three games he played (68.9%), but threw for only 477 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Given his high rate of completions, it's hard to imagine the Gators will struggle with their aerial attack, provided their receivers can open up the passing game with some explosive play. It could be an uphill battle for Florida's passing game this season, but only time will tell, as the young Gators look to prove they have what it takes to compete once again in the SEC.