Last season, the Florida Gators were notorious for flailing and flopping in the first half. It was almost as if it took the entire first and second quarter for the Gators to even get the ball rolling. But whatever Gators head coach Will Muschamp said to his players in the locker-room during halftime, it worked. By the start of the second half, the Gators looked like a completely different team, outscoring their opponents 128-32 in the fourth quarter alone.
As exciting as a comeback can be in football, it’s not something fans or coaches want to see their team do on a regular basis. With the competition getting tougher, the Gators may not have a chance to make many fourth quarter comebacks in 2013. Muschamp is fully aware that this is an issue that needs to be rectified. In his recent visit to speak with the Atlanta Gator Club, Muschamp assured those in attendance that the team is focused on starting games better and faster and being consistent in all four quarters of the game.
Another one of Florida’s faults in 2012 was penalties, a chronic problem for the Gators throughout the years. While a few penalties here and there don’t usually affect a team’s chances of winning or losing a game, the Gators had more than a few under their belt last season. Florida opened the season against Bowling Green with 14 penalties for a total of 106 yards, had four games with at least 10 penalties or more and ended the season with nine penalties for 98 yards in the heartbreaking loss against the Louisville Cardinals in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The Gators are currently the most penalized team in the SEC; that’s not a good place to be.
It’s very possible the Gators can overcome their obstacles from last season. What they need is discipline, and they need it now if they hope to be taken seriously as a contender for the national title in 2013.