Florida Football Reasons For Hope No. 1: Austin Armstrong will be better than Patrick Toney
We are really reaching for some low-hanging fruit by stating that new defensive coordinator Austin Armstrong will make the Gators better on defense than his predecessor, but the reality is that if Florida was even a mediocre team on defense last year, they go 9-3.
Whether Armstrong’s attack-style defense is going to work remains to be seen, but at least he has an identity one knows to expect. At least he has hit the ground running with an energy that Florida players seem to be thriving on.
Perhaps the is recency bias, or we are just desperate to convince ourselves that he can’t possibly be worse than Toney, but the buzz around Armstrong during camp well surpasses anything we remember hearing or reading about last season during camp.
For all the fear we have about the offense being stagnant, Florida football could go 8-4 or even 9-3 this season if Armstrong comes in and can replicate his success at Southern Miss.
It is true that Armstrong is unproven as a coordinator at the Power 5 level, but Nick Saban was impressed enough by his work to hire him on to a prominent role with Alabama’s staff as inside linebackers coach before Napier swooped in and brought him to Gainesville.