Florida appears to be one of the best teams in the SEC entering the 2013 season. There was that awful Sugar Bowl, but that should not be viewed as an indictment of the progress of Florida. (See Alabama-Utah if you doubt that.) So, what are the Gators chances for getting to Atlanta? Read on in our 2013 Florida Gators Football Preview.

2013 Florida Gators Football Preview

On the heels of a very surprising 11-2 season, the Gators are one of the most intriguing stories in the SEC. Despite losing several key players including standout defensive tackle Shariff Floyd, Florida still has a stable of weapons on both sides of the ball. Offensive coordinator Brent Pease has crafted a scheme that optimizes the talent he has to work with. It may not be the fun and gun that Gator fans loved under Steve Spurrier, or the Urban Meyer spread that terrorized the SEC (at least until Nick Saban made him quit). But eleven wins is eleven wins, including a win over golden boy Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies.

Jenn Brown is a hot Florida Gator. Just how hot are the Gators chances this year? Find out in our 2013 Florida Gators Football Preview
Jenn Brown is a hot Florida Gator. Just how hot are the Gators chances this year? Find out in our 2013 Florida Gators Football Preview

The Gators went out and recruited one of the best high school running backs in the land in Kelvin Taylor. Taylor’s high school stats were ridiculous, rushing for 2,423 yards and 41 touchdowns his senior year alone. A pure speed rusher, Taylor can blow past defenders and most games will be the fastest player on the field. However, Taylor still hasn’t fully grasped Brent Pease’s offense and will start the season backing up starter Matt Jones.

Jones is a power back, and will be one of the biggest components on a Gator offense that looks to run first, second, and at every other point possible. Matt Jones can run into the trenches for tough yards. Between the two backs, the only way to stop Florida’s run game is to close the holes early and make Driskel throw the ball.

Without a doubt, making Jeff Driskel throw is the goal of any Gator opponent. A far cry from the great Gator quarterbacks in the past. He’s a tough kid, but lacks true football I.Q., pocket presence, or precision to make defensive backfields worry about a vertical threat from the Gators. Maybe this will change in 2013, and for Florida to make plans on making it to Atlanta, it will have to. The goal of any defensive coordinator is to make his opponent one dimensional. As it stands, the Gators are one dimensional before any game begins. Against bad teams Driskel won’t have to do anything more than manage the game, but against a tough SEC defense Jeff Driskel will be called upon to do things he hasn’t shown he can do to this point.

Fortunately for Driskel, he has several receiving threats that at the very least can run the wildcat as well as serve for decoys to assist the running game.

If any receiver will take the reigns of this Gator’s offense, it will be the lengthy DeMarcus Robinson. With only one other Gator-esque threat at wide-out for Florida, Robinson will need a good showing in 2013 to make much needed plays in the passing game. And if there’s one attribute Driskel has to love about Robinson, it’s his ability to make plays on poorly thrown balls. Along with tight end Kent Taylor, Robinson will be the go to on third downs and in the red zone.

On the opposite side of DeMarcus Robinson is Andre Debose, one of the biggest question marks in the SEC. Two years ago Debose caught 40 passes and averaged 27 yards per catch, but last year had minimal impact. Andre has elite speed and great hands, but the word is that his work ethic leaves a lot to be desired. Debose is truly the wild card of this team because although they don’t need him to win, solid productivity from Debose would make wins much more comfortable for the Gators.

If the Gator offense is their “Ying,” the defense is the “Yang.” Almost the opposite of the offensive side of the ball, Florida will struggle early on the defense. By the time Florida faces Georgia, they should have their legs under them. But early games against Miami, LSU, and probably Tennessee and Arkansas will make life difficult as the Gator defense grows up. Once an opponent establishes the run, fun through the air is soon to follow. If Florida’s defense doesn’t get better at stopping the run, they will have serious struggles against any team with a decent running game and an adequate play action passing attack.

In short, all of the Gator’s eggs are in its offensive basket as they look to manage the clock and wear out defenses with their lethal one-two rushing combo. But if the Gators fall behind in a game early, playing catch up through the air just isn’t a reality. And neither will be getting back to Atlanta.

Thanks for checking out our 2013 Florida Gators Football Preview. Tomorrow we look at the Auburn Tigers as we make our way through the SEC.

—Special to the Capstone Report by Alex DeRemer.

9 thoughts on “2013 Florida Gators Football Preview”

  1. Let’s see where do I start? Oh, first . . You certainly know a hot young lady when you see one! She is really cute.! Now for writing about Gator football. Well, just stick to watching girls.

  2. Gator, or LMAO, or Boris – whatever…when more skill is required to analyze the actual hotness of a girl on the UF campus than is required to analyze the abilities of the team and coaching staff, you, as a critic of said analysis, might be just talking out your azz. So far, the analysis of each SEC team has been – for this part of the non-season – spot on. Why don’t you take your hurt feelings over to a Gator blog and commiserate with all of the other disappointed fanbase about the Gators inability to dominate UGA rather than make a peep on Bama’s sites. You just sound bitter and ignorant.

    1. I agree. I’ve been loving the content for the 2013 lineups, especially since it’s summer and everything else is baseball love or NBA hate.

      Knowing your opponent is a hallmark of a great team and the best fans, but it’s hard to find a good place to learn that doesn’t just shove recruiting star graphs down my throat.

      I enjoy Florida football. I never hated Tebow (or Meyer, for that matter), and I like their style of play since the late 90’s. Muschamp is not boring, and Florida has always seemed like the kind of program that takes big risks. They’re hungry this year, they always have a deluge of recruiting talent that doesn’t want to leave the state, and I think 2012 was a very educational year for Florida.

      The SEC East is looking better this year than it has in several years. It’s impossible to say what might have happened if Cam Newton hadn’t Amanda-Bines’d that laptop while Urban Meyer was still at Florida, but it won’t surprise anyone when Florida is on top of the SEC East again. I don’t think it will be this year, but if it is what a season that will be for the Gators. Huge schedule, experience at key positions, and weekly reminders of the team that beat them when they were last at their best might just fuel Florida’s path to Atlanta in 2013.

      And who wouldn’t want an Alabama/Florida rematch?

      Roll Tide.

      1. I’m with you Conduit, I like Florida, much the same way I like LSU. They didn’t have much of a history before 1990, but for the better part of 2 decades beating them has meant something.

        What’s interesting to me is the stark contrast this team is to the “traditional” Gator teams that slung it around all over the field. Danny Werfel threw some unreal passes, and Tebow wasn’t known for his passing but isolated defenses enough that he’d kill you once you bunched up and tried to stop his run

        I like Florida. But mainly because Georgia’s recent “success” reminds me how whiny and unbearable their fans are. So I could use some more Gator domination over Mark Richt and company.

        1. I agree, Florida must and will beat Georgia this year. Then we will move past FSU and on to the Sec East Title. Were we are looking forward to meeting the Big Ol’ Roll Tide! If you want to be the best you have to play the best. If all this comes to pass this Sec match up will be for the National Championship because no one is going to beat the SEC!!! Go Gators!

  3. Your review is missing a lot of accurate information. Since, I probably have more access to what’s really going on with UF, I will attempt to enlighten you.

    First, Driskel is not a poor passer. He completed right at 70% of his passes and had it not been for many dropped balls or wrong routes by the WR’s, he would have been over 80%. He made some very nice throws and proved he can make all the throws, required of an SEC QB. As a first year starter, a QB really has to have confidence in his OL. Due to injuries, UF’s OL was in shambles. They could run block; however, due to not having the same group playing together, they did a very poor job protecting Driskel. He could not get settled enough to where he felt confident that if he dropped back to pass, that he would have time to go through his progressions. Another factor was Jacoby Brissett. Brissett caused a big division between Driskel and the receivers, especially Jordan Reed. There was no chemistry between Driskel and the WR’s. if you go back and watch any game, you will see that the WR’s never talked to Driskel on the sidelines. That problem is gone, with the transfer of Brissett and Driskel and the WR’s are spending a lot of time throwing the ball – something they didn’t really do, last Summer. Driskel has spent a lot of time in the film room; once again, something he didn’t do last Summer. You will see a much improved Driskel, playing behind one of the best OL’s we have had in years.

    As for the WR’s – you missed a key element with this group and that is the hiring of Joker Phillips. He has, already, succeeded at getting the WR’s to do things they haven’t done. The pleasant news is Debose. It appears that Phillips was just what he needed and from what I am hearing, from other WR’s, Debose has been scary in practices. Robinson will be a good addition; but, you over-looked Bailey and Fulwood. Both of them will contribute, this year. I am really anxious to see Bailey. He has the speed and hands to cause some major problems, when he is in the slot. Fulwood is a big, atheletic receiver, who knows how Togo up and fight for a ball. The real dark horse of the group will be Kent Taylor. He’s close to getting that swagger back, that we saw during his senior year in HS. You will see a major change in this group and Driskel has confidence in them – something that was missing, last year.

    As for the running game – with a very good OL and a stable of strong backs, UF will be at the top in rushing. The coaches are very excited about Jones and many believe he will eclipse the 1,500 yard mark. Once he gets going, he is very hard to tackle. The real weapon will be his exceptional ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Taylor will hit his stride, by mid-season and he’s going to be special.

    The defense will be better, as a unit. The front seven will be very good. UF hasn’t had a dynamic pass rush for several years. That will change, this year. RO-PO, Fowler and Bullard are going to be very hard to block and when they have all three on the field, it’s going to be exciting to watch. There will be no better tandem of CB’s. UF will be able to force teams to run the ball and that will play right in to the defense’s strength. This could be the best group of LB’s we have seen on a UF defense, in years. Bostic was good; but, Morrison is a game changer, much like Brandon Spikes. There are several new faces, in starting roles; but, those guys have played a lot of football. Heck, most of them could have started last year.

    UF will have the best Punter in the game. Having Christy is like having extra players on defense. His ability to pin teams deep will make things much easier for the defense.

    It’s going to be great to see UF and Bamer, back in the SEC Championship game. Florida gave the game away to Georgia, last year, with 6 turnovers. That won’t happen again, this year. Of all the teams Muschamp wants to beat, UGA is at the top of that list and you can believe they will be ready to play. UGA’s QB, Murray, is good; yet, he will be neutralized by Florida’s outstanding secondary. Being able to play man coverage will allow Florida to shut down UGA’s running game.

    It’s going to be a good year to be a Gator and once Muschamp breaks through, he will become the top coach in the SEC. Championships will further shut down the exodus of talent from Florida and once Muschamp gets that locked down, it’s going to be a new day in recruiting.

  4. You idiot ,Driskel was a 63% passer and I stopped reading when yo said he coulda been 80%,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,fng retard!

    1. Stats can be deceiving. If you’re trying to tell me he presented a legitimate vertical passing threat last year, you’re certifiable.

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