After unarguably one of the worst football seasons in Florida Gators history, Florida football fans aren’t quite sure how to feel about the upcoming season. Can you really blame them? So much went wrong in so little time. Florida’s offense struggled to get going, the offensive line missed entirely too many blocks, the secondary was constantly burned by opposing wide receivers, and special teams was not nearly as impressive as it had been in previous years. Not to mention the injury bug wreaked havoc on more than a dozen of Florida’s players, the cherry on top of a not-so-sweet sundae. Considering they are a fanbase who’ve become accustomed to Florida being a consistently dominant SEC team, the losing season was a tough pill for Gator fans to swallow. The good news? There’s nowhere for this team to go but up.
With Florida’s biggest weakness being their offense, coaching changes needed to be made as soon as the 2013 season ended. Showing offensive coordinator Brent Pease the door, and bringing former Duke offensive coordinator Kurt Roper through another, appears to have been a good move for the Gators. He worked wonders in his time at Duke. In 2012, Roper led the Blue Devils’ offense to a school single-season record of 410 points and 31.5 points per game; the fifth-highest total in school history. Roper is confident that he can resuscitate the flat-lining Gator offense with timing and tempo changes. He has transitioned the Gators from a pro-style offense to an up-tempo, spread offense.
Redshirt senior offensive lineman Max Garcia is more than ready to start the season under Roper’s guidance.
“I love the up-tempo offense. I really believe it’s going to be what defines our identity as an offense unit.” – OL Max Garcia
The change has greatly affected Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel. In a good way, that is. Being that he is more of a shotgun quarterback, Roper’s offensive scheme is a perfect fit for Driskel’s abilities.
“I think he’s going to do extremely well. With this new offense, I do feel like he will have more opportunities to use his run ability, which only makes it harder for teams to defend. I’m really excited to be playing with him this year.” Garcia on Jeff Driskel
Muschamp believes Roper will mold the offense around the team’s abilities. It will take a lot of patience and hard work to get the Gators to where he needs them to be by August. Roper’s new fast-paced offense will without a doubt wear the team down until they are fully acclimated to the program. Although we saw vast improvement in Saturday’s Orange and Blue Debut game, we will have to wait until the season commences to truly see what he has done to develop Florida’s offense. But fans can rest assured that the winds of change have come to Florida and things can only get better from here.