It’s no secret Florida had a bad football season in 2017. The coach was fired and the Gators only won four games for the second time in five seasons.
There’s a new coach with a new attitude, but there are areas where Florida must improve to avoid another bad season.
Here are five of them:
- Total offense: Well, duh. Florida’s run of bad offenses has been an embarrassment. Last year, the Gators ranked 110th, a ranking Gator fans are too used to. The offense under Dan Mullen should be better. How about the top 50?
- Fumble recoveries: Nobody seemed to fumble against Florida last season. It was almost surreal. Some of that is bad luck, but most of it is not causing fumbles to be recovered. The Gators recovered three, count ’em, three, all season. That ranked next to last among Div. 1 teams. Where’s Brandon Siler when you need him?
- Turnover margin: And the lack of fumble recoveries led to a minus-3 in turnover margin despite 14 interceptions. The Gator offense helped by turning it over 20 times in 11 games. Every coach in America will tell you how important turnover margin is. It’s not an overrated stat.
- Long plays from scrimmage: The Gators ranked 113th nationally and had only five plays of 50 or more yards. Florida football used to have that many in a game.
- Punt returns: UF had zero for more than 20 yards last season, Special teams were a joke, with the exception of the kickers. Mullen has put a new emphasis on special teams. Let’s see if it pays off.