Florida Gators Football Must Break Multiple Trends Against FSU
The Florida Gators have an opportunity to win back-to-back games over Top 25 opponents. Jim McElwain knows they haven’t yet proven capable of doing so.
The Florida Gators football team has struggled to follow quality victories with a second consecutive win. That may be an oddly specific complaint, but it’s an issue that’s prevented Florida from maximizing its potential.
Following a 20-7 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks on Senior Day and an equally as emotional 16-10 road win over the LSU Tigers, Florida has a chance to buck the trend.
The Gators will travel to play the Florida State Seminoles in what could surpass the LSU game as the most important outing of the Jim McElwain tenure. Unfortunately, not many expect Florida to actually win this game.
According to Zach Abolverdi of SEC Country, head coach Jim McElwain acknowledged the troubling reality that Florida has been unable to follow its big wins with another big win.
“Let’s call it the way it is,” McElwain said. “I’m not sure we’ve had a decent win and actually followed it up. But whether you go win the game or not, it’s about the effort and the emotion and the way you attack the week of preparation. But part of the growth of an organization and a program is understanding that.
“So here’s another opportunity for us to learn. We’ve got a lot of good, young players that are playing their tail off. Now, can they keep putting it back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back, you know? That sign of consistency is what helps you be successful in whatever you’re doing.”
If the Gators prove capable of handling the pressure, then the implications could be massive.
Florida cannot look past Florida State, no matter how intriguing the SEC Championship Game may be. The Seminoles are one of the best teams in the country and have only lost two home games since 2012.
The good news: both of those home losses were suffered in 2016 and the last one before that was to the Gators in 2012.
The bad news, however, is that Florida’s inconsistency following big games isn’t the only downward trend. The Gators have lost three consecutive games to Florida State, meaning its seniors could go their entire tenure in Gainesville without a win over FSU.
That would be one of the most disappointing results in program history.
The Seminoles have a genuine superstar in running back Dalvin Cook and a dynamic freshman quarterback in Deondre Francois. Travis Rudolph is one of the most explosive wide receivers in the country and FSU’s defense is capable of dominance.
In order for Florida to overcome its in-state rival, then it must contain one of the most balanced offensive attacks in all of college football.
Whether or not the defense continues to overcome injuries and play at a Top 5 level, the offense must step up.
Florida generated just 270 total yards of offense, including 144 passing yards that factors in a 98-yard touchdown throw, against LSU. Jordan Scarlett played a spectacular game, but generally speaking, the offense was stagnant.
On the other 16 passing attempts, the Gators generated a combined 46 passing yards.
The question is: can the Florida Gators football team buck these negative trends?
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