With eyes on The Swamp, what defines a successful spring game for Florida Football?

Someone wearing the Gator logo will win, and someone wearing the logo will lose
Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun / USA

With the spring game upon us for Florida Football this week, the good news that is as old as time is that Florida will collect a win this week on the football field. This of course means Florida is also going to lose this week on the football field.

Defining success is always a slippery slope because if someone like Montrell Johnson runs for 125 yards on 12 carries, he is doing so against Florida's defensive line. If Asa Turner picks off three passes, he is doing so against Graham Mertz or DJ Lagway.

It is with that backdrop that there are three things we would like to see this Saturday that should translate to the fall no matter who the opponent is.

Hit Somebody

We have written at length the efforts Florida has made this spring to improve its tackling. Between viral clips and the entire coaching staff bringing it up in every press conference they get, it would be stunning if the Gators are once again the worst tackling team in the SEC in 2024.

And while physicality in a spring game can sometimes be limited and tackling is always hit or miss the first couple of games of any real season, most Gator fans would agree that after all the hype that tackling is better that if we watch Florida defenders doink off receivers like we saw in the Missouri game last season it will be a deflating feeling.

Go Long

The spring game is the type of set up where Florida could dump off to Tre Wilson ten times in the flat and rack up 110 yards receiving for three touchdowns. It isn't to say Florida should never throw to the flat in the fall, but we won't learn anything if that's the approach on Saturday.

Last year in the spring game, the Gators did try to go long a few times, but accuracy issues and general offensive line issues prevented the Gators from hitting anything deep, something that would follow the Gators into the fall.

We aren't advocating for Jason Marshall to get torched, but we would like to see Florida showcase the ability to hold up long enough to take a few shots downfield to show off the speed of guys like Adian Mizell and Tank Hawkins.

Don't Be A Turnstile

It won't be perfect on Saturday, given that players will be playing on makeshift units and some guys will be put into positions they won't be in come August, but one of the other eyesores last season was the play of the offensive line.

As mentioned above, last year during the spring game the Gators looked like a turnstile along the offensive line and combined with snap issues it led to a 10-7 slog fest.

With Florida having some of its own question marks along the edge of the defensive line, especially with guys recovering from injuries during the spring, the offensive line has to look like it can hold up for more than just two seconds to elicit any kind of hope heading into 2024.