The Florida Gators peaked in the first half of the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (WLOCP). That was maximum production with minimum injuries. That was it. Get over it Gator Nation. We lack the players and depth to be better than the first half of Alabama and first half of Georgia. Our running backs are not going to grow 25 pounds of muscle. Our receivers are not going to grow bigger, stickier hands. Our defensive backs are not going to grow a ball hawk brain. Our offensive line is not going to buy a clue. Our defensive line is not going to grow a run stop muscle. That was it, Gator Nation. The Gators are not going to get better. All the rah rah sis boom bah is not going to infuse all 11 players with the spirit of Saint Timothy Richard Tebow. It ain’t gonna happen.
In the first half, the Gators let penalties, butter fingers, and lack of a reliable kicking game get in the way of scoring two or three times. Bad offensive line blocking all year long has cost us injuries to quarterbacks John Brantley and Jeff Driskel, as well as running backs Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey. None of those players are at 100%, and it shows.
Where does that leave us?
1. Fan Patience. We put forth our best effort and keep fighting. Be patient in a rebuilding year.
2. Build depth. Give more players time on the field. Look at the depth at LSU and Alabama. How did they get that depth? The 2nd and 3rd teamers have playing time alongside 1st teamers. They gain experience, and the coaches see who deserves future playing time. It looks like we determine all playing time in practice, with little game time adjustment. We currently lack depth to make personnel adjustments at the half, and we are too banged up or too small to last in the 4th.
3. Let go of the past. We are revamping the offense and defense, so it will take a couple years to replace Urban Meyer players with Will Muschamp players. One sign of transformation is that with only 72 scholarship players (and shrinking), the Gators look like a team under NCAA sanctions. This is part of the house cleaning that needs to happen.
Beyond that, there is nothing more the Gators can do. They lack the discipline to fix the penalties. They are too banged up to be 100% this season. They peaked in the first half against Alabama and the first half against Georgia. It is going to be rough as we wind down the season, even with Vanderbilt and Furman on the schedule. Vanderbilt is winnable, but not a gimme (for the first time). Furman should be a win. I do not see Florida getting past South Carolina or FSU.
Even at 6-6, the Gators can make it to the Gator Bowl, probably against Michigan.
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