Florida Football: Why We Shouldn't Discount the Gators in 2014

Why We Shouldn't Discount Florida in 2014

7/9/14 in NCAAF   |   BlakeLovell   |   86 respect

Apr 12, 2014; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp looks on with quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg (17) during the first half of the spring game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY SportsAlmost all of us would agree that the Florida Gators were not the Florida Gators in 2013. At least not the Gators that we've come to expect over the years.

Florida's 4-8 record -- which included an unacceptable home loss to Georgia Southern -- left much to be desired, and even more important, left Will Muschamp wondering if he would still have a job.

But Muschamp is back to lead the Gators into perhaps their most important season ever.

If you're wanting to see Muschamp and company proceed to lay another massive egg, you had probably look elsewhere. While Florida may not return to the national championship discussion this year, there's no doubt that the Gators will be much better than they were a year ago.

What most people forget in discussing last season is the amount of injuries that the Gators endured. And while any type of injury is bad, these were season-ending injuries to key players.

It didn't matter which side of the ball you were on. Things were affected across the board. 

Quarterback Jeff Driskel broke his leg early in the season against Tennessee. Defensive tackle Dominique Easley suffered his own season-ending injury not too long after Driskel was ruled out for the year. And so on, and so on.

It wasn't that Florida wasn't talented enough to win games. The Gators just couldn't keep the players on the field that it needed to win those games.

Instead, the program had to rely on unproven players to step in and try to right the ship. Sure, a team like Florida should have enough depth to make an easy transition from one player to another. But that just didn't happen last season.

So, barring a repeat of the injury spree that took place last season, Muschamp's team should be fine.

Florida's schedule doesn't really do it any favors with away-from-home games against Florida State, Alabama, and Georgia, but this team should at least be competitive once again.

With former Duke offensive coordinator Kurt Roper taking over the reigns of the offense, and a defense that should be solid in most areas, the Gators should return to form this season.

If not, there will be a head coaching position available in Gainesville come January.

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