As the clock struck zero at the Swamp, the Florida Gators playoffs hopes were dead.
Florida suffered its second loss of the season to rival Florida State, 27-2 last Saturday night. With the loss, the Gators drop to #18 in the latest College Football Playoff poll. The Gators performance was very one sided, having the defense hold most of the weight the whole game, while the offense played horrendous.
Florida had under 270 yards of total offense with only 134 passing yards and 128 rushing yards. The offense looked like that of a high school team absolutely getting embarrassed on national television. Having their only two points of the game come from a safety, the offense wasn’t even able to score. A missed field goal, a blocked field goal, and a couple of turnover on downs defined the game for Florida on Saturday night. It’s sad to see such a talented team like Florida play so bad when viewers and fans know that they’re capable of so much more.
In my opinion, there is one man to blame. Fans can’t get too mad at this individual because he’s been put into a tough situation; yet, he still is expected to play top quality Florida football. His name is Treon Harris.
Harris was put to start after starter Will Grier was suspended for the year for testing positive for PED’s. While Grier and Harris were fighting for the top spot before the year, Grier won– and rightfully so. Grier started off a little shaky but led the Gators to a comeback victory over Tennessee, a dominant performance over then ranked #3 Mississippi, and led Florida into the AP Top 15 rankings. Harris started off with a loss at LSU, went to Jacksonville and picked up a win against rival UGA, then needed a game-winning field goal to beat Vanderbilt, a close call against South Carolina in Columbia, then barely pulled out a victory in overtime against FAU, and a dismal performance against rival FSU. Harris has not played the way he’s been expected to, and has led this team astray.
However, the loss didn’t come with all bad news as the number four ranked pocket passer in the country, Feleipe’ Franks verbally committed to the University of Florida. That’s huge news for the Gators, as the team is in desperate need of a true signal caller after Harris’ woes and Griers suspension. It’ll be fun to watch and see once Grier is back from suspension next season, if he will be able to come back and beat out Franks.
The Gators look ahead now to this upcoming week: the Conference Championship. The Gators will head to Atlanta to play the #2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship game.
Prediction for ALA vs. UF: In order for UF to pull off what would be a historic upset, they would need to play a near perfect game. The defense would need to hold running back and Heisman hopeful Derrick Henry to make no impact, while also stopping the Alabama offense as a whole that just scored 29 points on Auburn last week. Treon Harris will need to turn things around by limiting his mistakes and making decisions quicker. However, I don’t see Florida taking this one, and the Gators unfortunately drop out of the Top 25.
Predicted Score: ALA 27 UF 7