Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/4/13
The Florida Gators enter the 2013 season coming off a disappointing loss at the hands of the Louisville Cardinals in last year's Sugar Bowl.The Gators entered the Sugar Bowl one of the hottest teams in the nation with hopes of playing for a national title. The Gators were in line to possibly play Alabama in the national title game if Notre Dame would have loss to USC on the final week of the regular season.The Irish prevailed and ended up facing Alabama which left the Gators bound for New Orleans to face the Cardinals of Louisville.The Gators went into the matchup with the Cardinals a 14-point favorite, but were handed one of their worst beat downs of the 2012 season.Louisville went on to beat the heavily-favored Gators 33-23 in one of the surprises of last year's college football season. This has left this year's Gators team determined to redeem themselves and show that game was not the real Florida.As Florida comes into this 2013 season the hopes of playing in the national championship for the first time since 2008 will depend on the health and productivity of junior quarterback Jeff Driskel. Driskel has been a quarterback on the rise the last couple of seasons and this year could be the year he finally breaks out and shows his full potential.As he has gained more experience and confidence under head coach Will Muschamp, Driskel has improved his overall game as a passer, runner and has became the leader of this team. This is officially Driskel's team and the Gators will rely on him to lead them as far as they can go behind a stout defense.The strength of the 2012 Gators was the defense. The Gators' defense towards the 2nd half of the season last year was one of the top defenses in the nation and was the catalyst for the Gators making it to the Sugar Bowl.This year's Gators' defense only returns four starters and will have to grow up fast playing in the rough and defensive minded SEC. The Gators have had a track record dating back to the days of former head coach Urban Meyer of being a spread attack type of team, but under Muschamp it has been a more defensive approach to winning games.Muschamp, the former defensive coordinator at Texas, has brought the passion and fire that was needed after the departure of Urban Meyer and has got Florida believing that they can once again win a national title.The 2013 Florida schedule has some tough road games that will determine just how successful they are this season. The 2nd week of the season the Gators play the Miami Hurricanes in Miami. This matchup seems to favor the Gators, but against a rival on the road anything can happen that early in the season.The Gators also have road games against LSU and South Carolina. Last season Florida defeated LSU 14-6 in a SEC slugfest style of game with defense and more defense. This victory over then ranked number four LSU jump started the Gators' great 2nd half run in 2012.This year the Gators will have to face the Tigers in Death Valley which will be a whole different challenge for Florida. The Gators also play South Carolina in Columbia this year and as always one of the headlines is the Ol' Ball Coach going up against his former team Florida.As these two teams have played more and more the storyline isn't quit as big, but still you know the passion for Steve Spurrier wanting to beat his former team where he played and coaches at still burns inside him. The matchup of defensive star Jadeveon Clowney against the Florida offensive line will be the key to this game for Florida if they have hopes of protecting Driskel and beating South Carolina in Columbia. This game could be one of the best of the 2013 season if both teams live up to preseason hype.The 2013 season will be a measuring stick type one for Driskel of Florida and Muschamp in continuing the transformation from the Urban Meyer era. I believe the Gators will not be quite as good as they were last season when they reached number three in the polls.I do feel this could be a top 10 team if they win some of the key road games I spoke of and get a breakout season from Driskel. The defense will have to stay dominant under Muschamp and with a more experienced quarterback, this season could be a pretty nice one for Gator Nation.I feel Florida goes 9-3 or 10-2 with a potential shot at another BCS Bowl bid in 2013.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Irvin rips Texans for not trading for Tony Romo

Richard Sherman on trade talk: ‘I just laugh it off, man’

Grumpy writer complains about 'SI for Kids' reporter

Report: Archie Miller closing in on seven-year deal to coach Indiana

Alex Rodriguez said he 'made an ass of' himself denying PED allegations

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LaVar Ball finally got what he deserved

Adrian Peterson makes statement, says it is ‘not all about the money’

WATCH: Florida's Chiozza sends Wisconsin home on incredible buzzer-beater

LaVar Ball gets Crying Jordan, meme treatment after UCLA loss

Celtics upset Suns tried to pad Devin Booker’s stats

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

College Football 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

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

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