“They hung in there.”
Those are temporary relieving words from Florida coach Jim McElwain, as looking at the bigger picture, Florida shouldn’t have had to “[hang] in there” with South Carolina.
The #8 ranked team in the country needed a game winning field goal a week ago to top a lackluster Vanderbilt team, and now needed to hold off the Fighting Gamecocks late in the game to win 24-14.
Florida dominated the whole ball game against South Carolina; however, almost lost it late in the fourth quarter due to a Gamecock comeback. Their defense played exceptionally well, other than giving up some late drives that resulted in some points for South Carolina.
Florida right now is at a point where they control their own destiny. They play a terrible 2-8 FAU team this week, and then take on rival Florida State to finish off the season. The Gators then will most likely see Alabama in the SEC Championship game. If the Gators are able to win out, there’s no question that the College Football Playoff Committee will propel them into the Playoff. The real question is: can they do it?
Their last two performances have unfortunately said no. They’ve had to go to the wire with bottom-of-the-barrell SEC East teams, and barely hold on to win them. The Gators defense has been carrying them throughout the season, but the defense’s shoulders have been getting a little heavier as of late.
Since the offense has been mostly inconsistent since Treon Harris took over after Will Grier’s suspension, the defense has had to do a lot to keep Florida in football games. The Gators have one of the of best defenses in the country, but need the offense to produce if they want to win games.
The Gator defense has yet to allow an opposing team to eclipse the 30 point mark, but the offense has hit that already four times this season. When the offense and defense are playing together, that’s when this team is at its finest. Treon Harris and the Florida offense need to find themselves– and soon– or else their opponents will find them wandering aimlessly in the Swamp.
Prediction for FAU @ UF: This is a transition game for Florida to begin preparing and getting ready for Florida State on Thanksgiving weekend. The Gators are a much more stronger, physical, and better football team than FAU. Expect Florida to come out hot to try and get an early lead, and then never let it go. The Owls aren’t too bad of a team to overlook (Georgia Southern, I’m looking at you) but at 2-8 and 6th in the Conference USA, the Gators get things done with ease.
Predicted Score: FAU 3 UF 45