Florida Gators Football Season Preview History
2014 Florida Football Preview:
Will Muschamp enters his 4th season as the Florida Gators head coach with a target on his back. After a promising 11 win season in 2012, the Gators responded with a 4-8 campaign in 2013 that saw the team miss a bowl game for the first time since 1990. The season was highlighted with a home loss to FCS Georgia Southern, who won despite not completing a single pass attempt. Florida comes into 2014 as a bit of an uncertainty. The team lost some major talent on the defensive side of the ball with players like Dominique Easley, Jaylen Watkins, and Ronald Powell all leaving for the NFL. But the offense returns one of the most experienced front 5’s in college football to protect junior quarterback Jeff Driskel. Driskel will try to fix the Gators offensive woes from last season that saw the team score under 20 points in their final 7 games. If Muschamp can work some of his defensive magic on a depleted, but still talented Florida defensive group, the Gators could make some waves in the SEC East. With games at Alabama, at Georgia, and at Florida State, the boys from Gainesville will have plenty of time in the spotlight, for better or worse.
2013 Florida Football Preview:
The Florida Gators will look to build off a season that saw them win 11 games and end the season with a BCS appearance. Huge victories in 2012 against Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina, and Florida State has set up a 2013 season high in expectations. The Gators will have an improved offensive line that should allow junior quarterback Jeff Driskel the time needed to make plays down the field. Even with losing a few key players to the NFL, the defense should once again be among the best in college football.
The running game and special teams will also give the Gators an advantage against most of the competition, but for the Gators to return to a BCS game, the team will need Driskel and the passing game to step up. The Swamp will once again be one of the toughest places to play for opposing teams and with matchups against Vanderbilt and Florida State; the home field advantage could be the key for the 2013 season.
2011 Florida Football Preview:
This season will be the opening salvo in the career of Will Muschamp as head coach in Gainsville. He’s brought a pro-style offense with him, namely in the visage and teachings of new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, to run with the big dogs in the SEC.
Weis’ main concern will be dealing with the quarterback situation, his specialty. Last year, the first without Tim Tebow, was a disaster, with now-senior John Brantley ranking at or around the bottom of the SEC in major categories, along with a TD-to-TO ratio of 9/10. What saved the Gators many times last year were their two backs, Jeffery Demps and Chris Rainey. Out on the wings, barring any significant setback with Brantley, senior Deonte Thompson and junior Omarius Hines will look to make strides playing in the new, Weis-oriented system.
The defense has just as many question marks, as a 2010 they’d like to forget ended ranked tied last for sacks (21). Sophomore Ronald Powell will attempt to shore up the D-line, and the linebacking corps will be led by sophomore Gerald Christian, who game to Florida as a fullback. Even without the recently dismissed All-SEC cornerback Janoris Jenkins, the secondary might be the strongest and most veteran point of the unit, with junior Jeremy Brown and senior Moses Jenkins helping keep things on terra firma in The Swamp.
2010 Florida Football Preview:
Florida was unable to win its third national championship in four years in 2009, but the Gators only lost one game - to eventual champion Alabama. It will be difficult to duplicate that success this year following the graduation of quarterback Tim Tebow, who was one of the best players to play the college game.
Although Tebow is gone, coach Urban Meyer has a number of offensive weapons still at his disposal. Junior quarterback John Brantley has been laying in wait for three years and finally has the opportunity to lead the Gator offense. He will have fair amount of talent surrounding him including junior running back Jeff Demps and senior receiver Deonte Thompson.
As prolific as the offense was a year ago, the defense was equally impressive - the squad ranked first or second in the SEC in every major category. Six starters are gone from that group, and the linebacking corp is especially up the air, with no set group of starters. Junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins leads a talented secondary that should provide solid pass defense.
While it may be a stretch to put Florida back in the national championship, it is certainly not out of the question. The Gators are likely to maintain their perch atop the SEC East, but an October 2 date at Alabama could prove difficult.
2009 Florida Football Preview:
Head Coach: Urban Meyer
The Florida Gators enter the 2009 season with two things on their mind: winning another National Championship and getting another Heisman Trophy for quarterback Tim Tebow. The Gators are the reigning National Champs of college football after knocking off the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl in January. Now Florida must fill a few key positions and get energized to make another run through the brutal SEC conference. QB Tebow returns for his Senior season in Gainesville, so the offense will be in great hands. Head Coach Urban Meyer just needs to make sure his defense plays lights out football and Florida will be the odds on favorite to spend early 2010 in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl.
2008 Florida Football Preview:
Head Coach: Urban Meyer
The 2008 Florida foootball team is looking fantastic heading into the season. Preseason polls are ranking the Gators as one of the top five teams in the nation. The Florida offense is as strong as it was in 2007, as returning sophomore Heisman winner Tim Tebow (now a junior) and a slew of wide recievers including Percy Harvin, Louis Murphy, and Riley Cooper make this team an immediate threat. Another offensive weapon to look out for is Chris Rainey, whose star performance at the Gators' spring game turned heads.
The Gator's defense is still a little shaky, especially after last year's embarassing loss of 524 yards to Michigan in the Capital One Bowl. Coach Urban Meyer has already added two new defenseive coaches to the squad this season, and has bolstered the defensive recruiting class to bring more talent to the side. The Gators will play a tough schedule, including the annual trip to Jacksonville to face Georgia - the preseason favorite. No matter how tough a schedule, expect big plays and thrilling outing by these 2008 Florida Gators.