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Florida Gators 2014 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2014-15 Football Previews – (SEC) – Gators

The University of Florida, Gators fans and the team’s boosters are not accustomed to losing. Clearly, last year’s 4-8 effort went over like a lead zeppelin in Gainesville.

Florida Gators

SEC Conference 2014-15 College Football Previews:
Head Coach: Will Muschamp
2013 Record: 4-8
Florida Gambling Odds to win 2014 BCS Championship: 33/1
Futures from sportsbook.ag

It’s also clear the Gators are trying to re-discover their identity after a good streak of dominance in the last decade. Yet, the leash won’t be much longer for head coach Will Muschamp. The off-season hiring of offensive co-ordinator Kurt Roper is supposed to be the tonic that rescues the program, according to Muschamp.

For the sake of his job security, he had better be right.

Gators team brass is convinced that confidence on offense can be established by operating out of the shotgun formation more often. This is why UF brought Roper over from Duke. The team will rely on junior QB Jeff Driskel’s mobility more exclusively; that with an extra year of seasoning from what was a young team last year is believed to be pivotal.

There are several elements of the team that need to see substantial improvement, as you’d expect from a team that went 3-5 in conference play and lost to then-FCS competitor Georgia Southern.

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Still, Florida always finds a way to look good on paper.

Let’s examine the strengths and weaknesses of the 2014 Florida Gators.

Team Strengths

There’s plenty of talent wearing the orange and blue, thanks to years of strong recruiting.

Several players bear mention on both sides of the ball. Firstly, Driskel is coming back from injury, so this is a critical upperclassman year for him under center. He’ll be assisted by Kelvin Taylor, a promising sophomore RB who is also the son of former Florida and NFL star Fred Taylor.

Senior C Max Garcia will anchor the offensive line and though they lost two starters, veteran OTs D.J. Humphries and Chaz Green return from injury, so it will be nice to have that experience to re-establish the unit.

On “D”, there’s oodles of talent but the lead character is DE Dante Fowler Jr. He must progress if Florida is to improve its team pass rush. It helps that all the starters from last year return; fellow DE Jonathan Bullard should also be a good one. At LB, keep an eye on sophomore Jarrad Davis, who could be emerging into a star.

The secondary is led by athletic marvel and likely future impact NFLer Vernon Hargreaves III.

Team Weaknesses

Driskel needs to be healthy and effective, and both of those qualifiers are still up in the air at this point. That must be pretty scary for Florida. Someone needs to help him out by asserting themselves at WR; athletic sophomore Demarcus Robinson looks like the best candidate to do that.

After Hargreaves, there isn’t much proven starting experience in the secondary. Florida has always had talented players that could emerge quickly – the Gators need that to happen in this unit.
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The special teams were absolutely awful last season. Sophomore Austin Hardin is the starting kicker, but he made only 4-of-12 attempts in 2013. Punter Kyle Christy – who was a 2012 Ray Guy finalist – somehow got benched last season.

He’ll try and wrest the job from sophomore Johnny Townsend, but that’s kind of scary for a team that will have its share of turnover on downs.

Returner Andre Debose could be a special teams sparkplug, but he’s been plagued with off-field issues.

2014-15 Florida Football Prediction: 7-5

Florida is still in the upper echelon of the SEC when it comes to talent on the roster, which makes the team’s recent performance so damning. Muschamp hasn’t acquitted himself well as the head coach over three seasons; a combined record of 22-16 is good at some schools, but doesn’t cut it at Florida.

The team should definitely be better in 2014. However, it involves a complete offensive rebuild after the Gators finished in the bottom 20 nationally in most categories last season.

If Roper and his shotgun, spread-it-out attack doesn’t bear fruit, Muschamp is going to be canned like peaches in the offseason.

2014 Gators Schedule

  • 8/30/14 IDAHO
  • 9/6/14 E. MICH
  • 9/13/14 KENTUCKY
  • 9/20/14 @ ‘BAMA
  • 10/4/14 @ TENN
  • 10/11/14 LSU
  • 10/18/14 MIZZOU
  • 11/1/14 UGA (in Jacksonville, FLA)
  • 11/8/14 @ VANDY
  • 11/15/14 S. CAROLINA
  • 11/22/14 E. KENTUCKY
  • 11/29/14 @ FLORIDA ST.

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About James Hayes

James has been naming every player on the EA Sports video game rosters for half a decade now, he’s finally putting his knowledge to better use writing for us here at CappersPicks.com. Your comments are welcome below…Give Us Your Take!


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