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2013 Florida Gators
College Football Preview
Schedule and Odds
Florida had a good season record-wise in 2012 finishing with only one loss in the regular season. They were then upset in the Sugar Bowl even as -14 point favorites against Louisville. That led many people to believe their record was somewhat deceiving, especially after they had to eke out more than a couple of close wins throughout the year to less than stellar teams (Missouri 14-7, LA-Lafayette 27-20). No matter, the Gators finished in the Top 10 with an underwhelming Jeff Driskel at quarterback. Like many other QBs in the SEC, Driskel will have to improve for Florida to remain a powerhouse. While Florida only returns nine starters from the previous season, they have the No. 2 ranked class in the nation which should make things easier for them to transition. However, gone is defensive coordinator Dan Quinn who left for the NFL. Can Florida be a Top 10 pass defense for a third straight season even without Quinn? Will Muschamp hopes so.
If you believe Florida can be in the mix as far as the National Title is concerned, there may be some value in the odds posted at 5 Dimes Sportsbook. The Gators are listed at odds of 26 to 1 to win it all in 2013.
2013 Florida Gators Football Schedule
Aug. 31: vs. Toledo
Sept. 7: at Miami
Sept. 21: vs. Tennessee
Sept. 28: at Kentucky
Oct. 5: vs. Arkansas
Oct. 12: at LSU
Oct. 19: at Missouri
Nov. 2: vs. Georgia (Jacksonville)
Nov. 9: vs. Vanderbilt
Nov. 16: at South Carolina
Nov. 23: vs. Georgia Southern
Nov. 30: vs. Florida State
The main focus for Florida early on will be finding that player to replace Mike Gillislee in the backfield. In 2012, he carried the ball almost 200 more times than the running back next in line, Matt Jones. Like in year's past, Muschamp will continue to rely on a power rushing attack and hope that Driskel can make the plays when needed with his arm. The offense will also be relying on a number of newcomers to make an impact including freshman WR Demarcus Robinson.
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Even after losing more than half of their starters on defense, they still should be a top unit. The big hole to fill will be in the front seven where they lost five players including all three starting linebackers. This is a team that's more highly regarded than they were a season ago, yet has some work to do if they want to stick around the Top 10.
Florida's early season schedule is friendly for the most part, excluding a road trip to Miami (FL). Even then, the Hurricanes are a team they should be able to beat and overpower with their defense. The Gators next real task will come in early October when they have to go to LSU. Like last season when the Gators won 14-6, this game will be controlled by defenses, but the Tigers get the edge at home.
A few more games against possible Top 10 teams fill out the rest of their schedule with Georgia, at South Carolina and Florida State. The Bulldogs have the advantage once again with their offense and it will be tough for Florida to overcome them. The Gamecocks and the Seminoles will both be looking to avenge losses from last season.
Florida is lucky to have a relatively easy run early in the season which can't be said about many other SEC teams. Still, they will be hard-pressed to match last season's 11-1 regular season record. Two or three losses for the Gators is a more realistic prediction.
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