5 Weaknesses Florida Gators Need to Overcome in 2013
Florida Gators: 5 Weaknesses They Need To Overcome In 2013
For years the Florida Gators have been one of the most talked about teams in college football. Whether it was head coach Ron Zook, Steve Spurrier, Urban Meyer or newest coach Will Muschamp holding the reins, the Gators have always made headlines, in both positive and negative ways.
Last season, the Gators were spoken of positively when they defeated some of the toughest teams in the SEC. Florida had an unexpectedly good season, surprising everyone with an 11-2 record. Sadly, though, the two games the Gators did manage to lose in 2012 were two of the most important games of the season. The offense was a mess, there were too many turnovers, and they dug their own graves with stupid penalties. That topic is best saved for another time.
The Gators had many strengths that played a large part in their 11 wins last season. They had a tough secondary that included the likes of safeties Matt Elam, Josh Evans and cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy, an excellent kicker in Caleb Sturgis, and a killer defensive line with tackle Sharrif Floyd leading the pack. Florida’s running game was almost unstoppable. Running back Mike Gillislee was impressive with his speed and fancy footwork, as he left Florida’s opponents in the dust. With some of those players now in the NFL, the Gators are focusing on ways to keep those strengths strong. However, there are other areas the Gators should be honing in on. With Florida’s strong points came numerous flaws.
Let’s go ahead and dive into the five weaknesses the Gators need to overcome heading into 2013.
Kicker Caleb Sturgis was one of the best players on offense for the Gators. Sad, but true. The guy hit a 56-yard field goal like it was nothing. Sturgis is going to be a tough one to replace. The Gators are going to miss him in those close-call, nail-biter games, where a last-minute field goal equals a victory. Punter Kyle Christy is an exceptional kicker as well, but I highly doubt the Gators want him doing both.
4. Backup Quarterback
Florida's backup quarterback situation is still up in the air. If Jeff Driskel goes down, who is going to come in and take his place? There's been talk of backup Tyler Murphy being ready to come in and save the day when necessary, but there are three other backups with the same aspirations. This issue should be resolved by the end of fall camp. One can only hope.
3. Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
The Gators were far from strong at the wideout position in 2012, leaving them to rely heavily on running back Mike Gillislee. Tight end Jordan Reed did most of the leg work and even cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy popped in at wide receiver every now and then. The Gators have now brought Joker Phillips on board as wide receivers coach. I think it will make a big difference for Florida this season.
It's a no-brainer why this was included as a weakness. The Gators have been the most penalized team in the SEC for years now. I mean, they had 14 penalties for 106 yards in one game alone last season! Sheesh. Time to clean it up, boys.
1. Offensive Line
The picture above speaks volumes. Driskel rarely had any protection. Florida's offensive line was unarguably their biggest weakness in 2012. Thankfully, Driskel is a tough guy despite being sacked almost 40 times last season.