Florida’s 28th win in a row against the Kentucky Wildcats might be the ugliest win I have ever seen (Okay, that’s a stretch. Almost losing to University of Louisiana-Lafayette in 2012 in The Swamp might take the cake there).
A win is a win, and that is one thing that the Florida Gators needed as they get ready to hit the road to Tuscaloosa later this week to face the Alabama Crimson Tide.
3 Keys/Questions To The Game:
– Can this Florida offense move the ball against the stingy Alabama defense?
Yes, if Jeff Driskel can find consistency.
During the first half of the Florida/Kentucky game, which was a 3-3 game going into half time, I could only sit in the front row of The Swamp with my head in my hands as I had flash backs of the anemic offense from 2012 and 2013.
Then all of a sudden, Jeff Driskel, with the help of Matt Jones, brought this offense to life and was able to counter back at Kentucky when they scored.
In overtime when he threw the game saving touchdown to Demarcus Robinson (who had one hell of a night receiving, if you didn’t know) on 4th and 7 as the play clock was expiring, plays like this show that he can be very successful and demanding of the offense.
If Florida starts off slow against Alabama, I am afraid they might not be able to claw their way out of it like the could with Kentucky.
Jeff Driskel must start off by making the short, accurate throws to the receivers. That will be able to give him the confidence to make throws at the second level and give him confidence to make the deep throws.
Florida has probably had at least 10 deep ball looks against both Eastern Michigan and Kentucky combined, but only connected on one explosive play during both games.
If he doesn’t take advantage of the deep ball throws, they could haunt the Gators later on in the Alabama game.
– Will this Florida secondary be able to improve before the Alabama game?
I think the Florida defense will have a much easier time against the Crimson Tide then they did against Kentucky.
You might be thinking “Aren’t Alabama’s receivers head over heels better than Kentucky’s?”
Yes, they are, but one thing that I have noticed is Florida is very, very weak when it comes to defending a Spread Offense or an Air Raid offense.
Teams with that style like to give their playmakers a chance in space to make plays and gain yards on short passes.
Alabama has a much more traditional, hard-nose style of offense where the quarterback only has to turn and hand off the ball.
Their style might change this year a little bit because of their new starting quarterbacks, Blake Sims, ability to scramble.
– Is there anyone else that can make plays at Wide Receiver other than Demarcus Robinson?
Well, there is Quinton Dunbar and Ahmad Fullwood, but both have been very quiet in UF’s first two games.
One player than needs to be used more in the offense is Andre Debose.
This offensive system is the perfect fit for Andre. He can be a threat in the vertical passing game. Last time Andre Debose was a threat, was against Alabama in 2011 when he caught a 65 yard bomb on the first play of the game.
How sweet would that be to see him catch another bomb on the Alabama secondary?
Not only could he be a deep threat for this Florida offense, but if we could dish the ball off to him in the short game and get him into space with a one-on-one match up, he has the speed and ability to score every time he touches the ball.
I really wouldn’t be surprised if Kurt Roper has a certain package for him up his sleeve for the Alabama game. I feel like a jet sweep package would be ideal and I think that would give the Alabama defense something else to worry about, other than our rushing attack.
If Florida wins: 24-21
This Florida team has the fire power to score on offense against this Crimson Tide defense. I think that Florida is capable of putting points on the board against anyone in the country. It all comes down to Jeff Driskel’s decision making, the offensive line, and the special teams.
If Driskel has the time in the pocket to make the necessary throws, then Florida will be able to move the chains. Kentucky provided a ton of pressure to Rod Johnson’s side of the offensive line and that forced Driskel to throw the ball away sporadically.
The special teams need to come in clutch for Florida in this ball game if they are going to have a chance to win this ball game.
Kyle Christy was able to flip the field multiple times for Florida, and that is going to come in handy if he keeps that kind of play up during the Crimson Tide.
Frankie Velez has only missed one field goal this year. If Florida can get in Frankie’s range, he has to be able to produce points.
If Florida loses: 34-17
I know I am not the only one that isn’t afraid to admit that Florida is the inferior team going into the this match up.
Florida’s secondary looked absolutely terrible against Kentucky. If the safeties aren’t able to step up, Blake Sims could have a field day throwing to Amari Cooper and O.J. Howard.
Florida also had a lot of miscommunications and a lot of flags thrown on them against Kentucky.
The Alabama offense will make Florida pay if there is a flag thrown. It is crucial that Florida avoids all stupid penalties and mistakes at all costs.
I am very stoked to see this match up, as every Gator fan should be.