College Football News Preview 2020: Florida Gators Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Florida Gators Offense
Don’t forget about the running game. The emergence of Kyle Trask and the efficiency of the passing game made it easy to bomb away in came after game – the Gators threw for 300 yards or more eight times.
That’s fine, and there’s no reason not to trust Trask with moving the attack, but considering how good the defense and special teams should be again, when the ground game works, forget it – the Gators win.
Dan Mullen’s 2018 team was about as balanced as possible – 2,776 rushing yards, 2,771 receiving. Trask might not provide a whole lot of mobility, but when you have a passer who was good enough to help the offense throw for close to 4,000 yards, you use him.
However, it was hard to pound out key drives to take control of the LSU game that was there to grab. It wasn’t for a lack of trying – Florida ran a season-high 40 times – but it wasn’t effective enough. It struggled even more in the loss to Georgia with just 21 rushing yards. The O only hit the 200-yard mark twice – once in the layup against UT Martin, and once in the Orange Bowl against Virginia.
Florida is 11-0 when it runs for 200 yards so far under Mullen. Over the last six seasons the program has won 19 straight when it got two 2000 and is 23-1 overall with the only loss coming to South Carolina in 2014.
Biggest Key To The Florida Gators Defense
Keep up the pressure into the backfield. It helped to have Jonathan Greenard and Jabari Zuniga, but 22 Gators came up with at least one tackle for loss last season and 17 registered a sack.
The 49 sacks the defense generated marks the first time the program got to the 40-sack mark since 2015 in one of the most productive pass rushing seasons in school history. There were just two games when the D went sackless – LSU and Georgia. The only two losses.
In the first two seasons under Dan Mullen, there was only one other time the Gators failed to come up with a sack – the loss to Kentucky early in 2018. In the two other losses in 2018, there was just one sack in each of the two games.
Overall, the Gators were just okay on third downs and there were a few strange lapses over the season, but lead the SEC in sacks again, and everything will be okay.
Key Florida Gators Player To A Successful Season
OT Stone Forsythe, Sr.
It’s not that the 6-7, 329-pounder was bad at left tackle, but he wasn’t dominant and wasn’t consistent. It would make the puzzle of the front five a whole lot easier to put together if he cranked up a great camp and secured the job, otherwise he’ll be moved to right tackle, and then comes the audition for the gig on the left side.
The starting five from the end of last year was okay, and it’s full of veterans. However, there’s going to likely be some switching around to find the right center, so again, if the tackles are set early on, it’ll take off some of the pressure.
Key Game To The Florida Gators Season
Georgia, Oct. 31 (in Jacksonville)
It has only been a three-game losing streak for the Gators in the series, but in that time the balance of power in the East shifted over to Athens with Georgia playing in three straight SEC championships.
The matchup in each of the last two seasons was effectively the SEC East title game. Considering the rest of the SEC schedule isn’t all that bad, don’t lose the road game at Tennessee early on, don’t trip in any of the landmine games, and a home loss to LSU doesn’t become the end of the world … if there’s a win in Jacksonville on Halloween.
– Florida Gators Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Florida Fun Stats
– Opponent Punt Returns: 7 for 9 yards
– Red Zone Scores: Florida 46-of-54 (85%) – Opponents 23-of-35 (66%)
– 4th Quarter Scoring: Florida 128 – Opponents 43