Gators say future is bright

Florida Gators players sit on the bench late the second half against the Florida State Seminoles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday Nov. 30 2013 in Gainesville, Fla. Florida State defeated Florida 37-7. (Matt Stamey/Staff photographer)

The Gainesville Sun
Published: Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 6:37 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 6:37 p.m.

It was hard to put a positive spin on Florida’s 37-7 loss to No. 2 Florida State on Saturday in The Swamp.

But after a 4-8 season derailed by injuries and poor offensive execution, the Gators are hopeful that things can turn around quickly in 2014.

“We hit rock bottom this season,” Florida redshirt junior offensive lineman Max Garcia said. “I feel like the only way we can go is up. We’ve got the offensive line, Chaz Green, Tyler Moore will be ready for the season next season. D.J. Humphries. All those guys, as an offensive line, I can speak for myself, I think we have a bright future ahead of us.”

Florida coach Will Muschamp has proven the ability to bounce back from disappointing seasons in the past. Florida went from 7-6 in Muschamp’s first season in 2011 to 11-2 and a Sugar Bowl berth in 2012.

A four-game improvement next season would put Florida at 8-4 and potentially take Muschamp off the hot seat.

“I think the future is very bright,” Florida quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg said. “We’ve got some guys coming back, can’t make any excuses but we were a little dinged up this year, but I think we’re going to be a very strong team next year.”

Muschamp said he’s hopeful that the humbling experiences the Gators endured during the 2013 season will carry over and provide some motivation to prepare for 2014. Due to injuries, true freshmen such as running back Kelvin Taylor, cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III and linebacker Jarrad Davis were forced to step into expanded roles. All three players will serve as potential building blocks for the Gators.

“We’re going to have a good football team next season,” Muschamp said.

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