Positive outlook for Gators?


The Gators were a little (or maybe a lot) off their game last season, rumbling and stumbling through a disappointing 7-6 season. But I did OK picking Florida games, finishing with a respectable 11-2 record (it would have been 12-1 if I hadn’t been a dummy and picked Ohio State to win the Gator Bowl).

It’s on to a new season and I’m ready to try again. The Gators are, too.

Even though we were only allowed to attend one practice (where nothing much really happened, with the Gators in shells), I’ve been around the coaches and players the last month and I’ve been getting a very positive vibe from them. The Gators are convinced they’re going to be better this season — much better — and I’m starting to feel the same way about this team.

Teams usually experience a bump in the second year of a new coach, and I’m confident this is going to happen at Florida.

Here’s why:

* The offense is going to be much better and much more productive. Quarterback play will be better (whoever ends up starting) and I think Brent Pease’s scheme is better than what UF had with Charlie Weis. Pease seems to have a knack for finding mismatches and spreading the ball around. I know some are worried about the apparent lack of playmakers in the receiving game, but I think Pease will find a way to use all his weapons, including Trey Burton and Omarius Hines, and the passing game will be a pleasant surprise to UF fans. There’s no doubt the running game will be more effective. The line is bigger and stronger and the backs (Mike Gillislee, Mack Brown and Matt Jones) are better suited for the downhill running game the Gators want to employ. If injuries bite Gillislee again, I look for Brown and Jones to break out this season.

* The defense was very good last season and should take its play to another level in the second year in the Dan Quinn (and Muschamp’s) scheme. The Gators did not produce many turnovers last season because their play was too tentative at times in a new system. They know the system now and will be flying around more (which usually leads to big plays and turnovers). Moving Dominique Easley to end and Sharrif Floyd to tackle will produce great results, improving the outside pass rush and stabilizing the run defense up the middle. The Gators will be very good at linebacker and have a chance to be great in the secondary. Overall, this could be one of the strongest defenses in the nation.

* Special teams should play a major role again. UF has one of the nation’s elite place-kickers in Caleb Sturgis and lots of potential playmakers in the return game and on the kick-block teams.

* The schedule is easier than last season, mainly because Alabama isn’t on it. This year’s schedule is doable. Here’s an early upset vibe I’m getting: Gators over LSU in The Swamp. But we’ll get to that pick later.

This week’s prediction: Florida 45, Bowling Green 10.


  1. When the season gets to the SEC big boys, I think the play of the offesnsive line will be the determining factor. If the Gators can’t sustain drives and score touchdowns (not field goals) when they get in the red zone, then the wll put the defense in too many holes. Secod to that will be the ability of “D” to create turnovers. Last season was not good in either of these areas, so that’s where I’ll be loking for improved play. Do that, and the team could win 8-9 games or more.

  2. I say if we blowout A&M on the road, then we’ll be able to handle LSU & S. Carolina at home. The Gator defense is the best in the SEC (yeah I said it) and if our offense can help ’em out by putting up numbers, we can be undefeated in the Swamp once again. UGA and FSU are always toss ups so I say 10 wins minimum for the boys of old Florida. A trip to ATL won’t surprise me at all. GO GATORS!

  3. It seems is going to be a long season once again for us Gators Fans, sniff, sniff. Hope the UF offense man-up in a hurry. The SEC is lurking at us…BAMA, UT, and GA looked good in their opening games.
    Let’s play smarter. There were so many dumb penalties on our team today.
    Go Gators!!!

  4. Hey ROLl TIDE ask your Dad to tell you about the 90s….’cause you could BARELY BEAT FLORIDA THEN! And if you think your TIDE DOMINANCE will be as certain as the SUN RISING, then you’re sadly mistaken! PRIDE COMES BEFORE THE FALL, and the way you Tide Fans GLOAT, it must be coming SOON! And oh, when Clemson WINS a ‘Basketball & Football National Championship’ in the SAME year (2006) …CALL ME! In fact, hell, call me when BAMA WINS 2 in one year in 2 SPORTS …not just FOOTBALL! LOL!

  5. Alabama fans cannot help themselves due to insatiable inbreeding that occurs since no one else wants to be a part of that blood line. RT must be one of those punk ass idiots that got beat up last year after waiting around too long after the game…LOL. We, as true Gator fans, must cut the intelligent impaired bama fans alot of slack so they can atleast be proud of something that comes out of that racist state. Anyway enough of the 15 seconds of fame I gave that unscrupulous football fan…he is probably a closet Gator fan and was mad like the rest of us when they played so supar on Saturday. GO GATORS!!! The rest are just HATERS!

  6. Robbie: When (if at all) will Sun sports journalists start to address THE QUESTION that was most asked in my section of the stands last Saturday. The question, of course, is how, why did AD Foley hire a guy with no head coaching experience only a defensive coordinator from a 5-7 team. If fans thought UM quit and left a mess, just wait another year or so when WM gets fired. A one-time elite program is no place for on the job training. Start staying home on Saturday. That will get some attention!!

  7. Robbie that was pretty sad Saturday. It looked very Zook-ish. If not for Two missed Field Goals by BG and the dropped pass deep in our territory that led to an interception and we may be talking about losing to BG in our home opener. We have no where to go but up!!! Go Gators!!!

  8. I agree with EMK and JaxGator, I think Zook could even coach better than Will Muschamp at times. I know is the first game of the season but it shows that even when WM is a good disciplinarian, he lacks Head Coaching experience and it is showing. I feel he doesn’t inspire the players to play with greatness and poised. They seem lackadaisical (sorry Roll Tide, you will have to look this word up in the dictionary, lol).
    If Muschamp doesnt get hus act together as a Head Coach, he will soon be Will Must-go, unfortunately.

    GO Gators!!!

  9. It will be another struggle offensively bc the oline went 3 years wo learning and being drilled constructively…
    ’11 verducci ugh
    ’10 addazio -oc
    ’09 addazio -oc
    ’08 addazio/HEVESY!!
    Addazio was a recruiter that’s it- remember he was initially brought as te coach then moved in and split w JH in year 2 of Meyer… I still can’t believe he was oc but even worse than that was they allowed him to be oc and the only ol coach so he half arsed the ol trying to be a competent oc… Why else would Nixon’s freshman year be his only good year? Not entirely his fault

  10. After reading these posts and the frustration expressed, I must add the following although it is perhaps obvious. The Texas A&M game will determine WM future. Lose it and he is done!! Even with a loss he will be defended by AD Foley, after all he is primarily responsible for this current mess. I go back a long way and recall the Doug Dickey Era when Gator fans cheered for the Bulldogs to win so that finally, finally, the administration would fire Dickey. Gators lost, Big Time, and Dickey became history. For all practical reasons, A&M is WM’s last opportunity to save the situation.

  11. “CALL ME! In fact, hell, call me when BAMA WINS 2 in one year in 2 SPORTS …not just FOOTBALL! LOL!”

    Greg, what’s your phone number? I need to call you because Bama won 5 National Titles last year alone. Moron, your bus is leaving.