The Florida Gators surprised many by reaching the SEC title game last year against Alabama. Even with a new coach in Jim McElwain and uncertainty at quarterback, the Gators won 10 games and reached a January bowl game.
Considering just how bad the offense was, particularly after Will Grier’s suspension, the accomplishment becomes that much more impressive. It also set a high bar for the Gators this year.
To some though, Florida’s run last year had more to do with luck and a really good defense than with anything else. And the Gators could be expected to come back down to Earth some.
In the upcoming edition of Lindy’s College Football Southeastern edition, they once again spoke to opposing coaches anonymously to get their takes on teams this upcoming season. And the coach they spoke to about the Gators was not high on the offense:
“Florida won’t be as good as last year,” the coach said in the magazine, according to GatorBait.net. “They might not finish as high as third. They lost their quarterback (Will Grier transferred). They grew with Grier last year, now they’re back to Ground Zero. They don’t have the same depth and numbers of potential explosive guys on both sides of the ball that they’ve had in the past. It’s surprising, considering the state of Florida has so many skill position players. But a little bit of it is affected by the ebb and flow of FSU and Miami. If you look at history, those three schools trade back and forth, stockpiling elite players. In the last couple of years, it’s been FSU.”
Certainly the Gators are starting from scratch at quarterback. Grier transferred out of Gainesville and Treon Harris is not back to start at quarterback. Luke Del Rio, a former walk-on at Alabama and Oregon State transfer, looked impressive in the team’s spring game, but will need to prove himself in live action. True freshman Feleipe Franks has plenty of hype surrounding him, but a less-than-stellar spring game showed there is still a learning curve.
Safe to say that quarterback is not a position of confidence for the Gators this year.
They will have the defense to rely on though, and that is a big positive.