Florida Gators Football Can Celebrate A Resilient Season
The Florida Gators have completed the 2016 regular season. Before moving on to the Conference Championship Game, Florida should celebrate its resilience.
The Florida Gators failed to close out the 2016-17 college football season with a victory over the Florida State Seminoles. It was a disappointing result that stunted the momentum achieved over the past two weeks.
Nevertheless, head coach Jim McElwain led the Gators to a resilient 2016 season that both the fans and the players can be proud of.
Despite losing three games along the way, the Gators have achieved more than most would be capable of. They endured injuries to key players on both sides of the ball and still managed to win the SEC East.
No matter what happens from hereon out, McElwain has led the Gators to a season to be proud of.
The Gators entered the Florida State game with seven players sidelined by injuries. Those seven players were Alex Anzalone, Bryan Cox Jr., Jarrad Davis, Luke Del Rio, Cameron Dillard, Marcus Maye, and Nick Washington.
That list includes Davis, whom Teez Tabor called the heart and soul of the defense, and Del Rio, the starting quarterback.
Against Florida State, the Gators endured another slew of injuries to key players. The likes of Ahmad Fulwood, Martez Ivey, and Jordan Sherit went down at some point or another against the Seminoles, which stacked the deck even higher.
Nevertheless, the Gators fought until the end and did everything they could to make their fans and seniors proud.
Last 2 years under Muschamp: 11-13
First 2 under McElwain: 18-7
— Clayton Coffman (@_Coffman_) November 27, 2016
Entering the SEC Championship Game on the heels of a loss doesn’t bode well for McElwain’s crew, but it’s not something to lose sleep over. Win or lose, Florida has won back-to-back SEC East titles in the face of unfathomable adversity.
Between the loss of the starting quarterback, the defensive leader, and playmakers on both ends of the ball, Florida shouldn’t have won the division.
If the injuries weren’t enough, the Gators were forced to give up a home game and play the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge. LSU accused Florida of attempting to duck the game entirely, which prompted a powerfully emotional response and a 16-10 road win by the Gators.
Chalk that up to karma or perseverance, but Florida got the job done in iconic fashion with a goal line stop on the road.
From start to finish, the regular season has been a display of Florida’s will to win. No matter the task at hand, it’s overcome obstacles en route to a second consecutive SEC Championship Game appearance.
The future is unpredictable, but this season has been one to cherish.
Florida Gators fans should be proud of the players and coaches for surviving and thriving against all odds.
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