Originally posted on College Football Zealots  |  Last updated 7/7/14
2013 Record: 4-8 (3-5 in SEC) Head Coach: Will Muschamp (22-16 in three years at Florida) Last Bowl Game: 2012 Sugar Bowl: lost to Louisville 33-23 Stadium: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fl (capacity = 88.548) 2013 Home Record: 3-3 Spring Football Highlights: Schedule: 8/30 vs Idaho 9/6 vs Eastern Michigan 9/13 vs Kentucky (2013 result: won 24-7) 9/20 at Alabama 10/4 at Tennessee (2013 result: won 31-17) 10/11 vs LSU (2013 result: lost 17-6) 10/18 vs Missouri (2013 result: lost 36-17) 11/1 vs Georgia (2013 result: lost 23-20) 11/8 at Vanderbilt (2013 result: lost 34-17) 11/15 vs South Carolina (2013 result: lost 19-14) 11/22 vs Eastern Kentucky 11/29 at Florida State (2013 result: lost 37-7) Statistical Snapshot: 2013 Statistics Link Stats to Fear: last in SEC in total offense (316 ypg), last in SEC in red zone trips converted to TD (44.19%), only SEC team to have less than ten plays of 40 or more yards on the season, tied for 12th in SEC with 19 sacks Stats to Cheer: held opponents to 34% conversion rate on third down (2nd in SEC), finished 2nd in SEC in total defense (314 ypg) Personnel: Phil Steele’s Returning Starters: Offense: 7, Defense: 7, Special Teams: 2 Key Losses: DE Dominique Easley, LB Ronald Powell, CB Marcus Roberson,  S Cody Riggs, S Jaylen Watkins, WR Soloman Patton, WR/TE Trey Burton, C Jonotthan Harrison, C Jon Halapio, Key Defensive Returnees: DE Jonathan Bullard (33 total tackles), LB Dante Fowler (50 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, 10.5 TFL), LB Antonio Morrison (56 total tackles), CB Vernon Hargreaves (38 total tackles) Key Offensive Returnees: QB Jeff Driskel (68.9% completions, 2 TD, 3 INT), RB Kelvin Taylor (508 yds rush, 4.58 ypc, 4 TD), RB Mack Brown (543 yds rush, 3.67 ypc, 4 TD), WR Quinton Dunbar (39 rec), OT DJ Humphries Top 2013 Recruits: CB Jalen Tabor, DT Gerald Willis, QB Will Grier, DT Thomas Holley Verdict: Just about everything that could go wrong for the Gators in 2013 did go wrong. After starting 4-1, the Gators lost their last seven games and finished 4-8, which was their worst record since 1979. Will Muschamp is in his fourth season and I think the only thing we can expect from his Gators is that we don’t know what to expect. On offense, the Gators will be led by Jeff Driskel. Driskel is a former five-star recruit who has battled injuries during his tenure and has been unable to find his footing. Driskel appears to be healthy heading into 2014 and he will be coached by his third offensive coordinator in four years. Kurt Roper has come over from Duke and the only direction this offense can go is up. At RB, the Gators have a solid group with Mack Brown, Matt Jones and Kelvin Taylor. Now a sophomore, Taylor will be the player to watch in this group. The offensive line returns 66 career starts but they will be a question-mark heading into the season with the loss of some key personnel. Many point to Florida’s receiving corps as the missing link in the last few years as they just haven’t found that go-to guy. This year they lose two of their best receivers, Soloman Patton and Trey Burton as Quinton Dunbar is the only returning player who had more than 20 receptions last season. The Florida offense is the wildcard with question-marks at quarterback, along the offensive line and at receiver. Can Roper turn this team around and get them playing good offensive football. With the defense Florida has, they don’t have to be great offensively. The defense was decimated by injuries last season but still ranked among the best in the SEC. The Gators front seven will be among the best in the conference with Fowler, Bullard and Morrison anchoring that group. The defensive backfield saw a lot of defections this off-season and some young players will need to step up as the Gators project three under-classmen among the starting four. I think it’s fair to say that the Gators defense will keep them in football games this year. The big question is if Driskel and the offense can be good enough to win them. Florida’s schedule will give them time to ease into the swing of things and could ultimately help them answer that question. Much like last season, expect the Gators to start off 4-1. They have Idaho, Eastern Michigan and Kentucky right out of the gate. Then they travel to Bama and Tennessee. After that is where it gets interesting. They have a five game swing that includes LSU, Missouri, Georgia and South Carolina. If I had to pick out a critical game of the season it would be the Mizzou game. Win that game and the Gators should be at least 5-2 heading into it’s rivalry game with Georgia. Lose that game and they are 4-3 heading into Georgia and the heat is on Muschamp as he looks for his first victory against the Bulldogs. Florida will be a much improved team this season, but how improved? If Driskel prospers in the new system, Taylor emerges as a legitimate #1 running back and they find a go-to receiver then this is a double-digit win team. More than likely, we are looking at a team that will win from seven to nine regular season games and have a good season but will that be enough of an improvement from a Florida fanbase that has gotten used to contending for National Championships?   Note: final predictions for all SEC teams will be made in August in my conference preview. Previous Previews: Arkansas Razorbacks Kentucky Wildcats Mississippi State Bulldogs Tennessee Volunteers
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Le’Veon Bell vows to win appeal: ‘I’m not going to miss games’

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a pseudonym of a blunt on Periscope

WATCH: Cam Newton get blocked by a girl playing volleyball

Russia avoids complete ban from Rio Olympics by the IOC

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Padres trying to move Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris

Baseball's top prospect called up to majors by Astros

Report: Braves 'aggressively' shopping Francoeur, Aybar

Report: Hue Jackson designing plays for Terrelle Pryor

Report: Darnell Dockett expected to announce retirement

Report: Yankees have not discussed releasing A-Rod

Eight MLB veterans that need to be traded before deadline

Andre the Giant drank six bottles of wine before match?

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Gators News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker