Gators Lose in Victory

Nov 12, 2012 -- 10:09am


When you’re one of the big boys and you play a cupcake opponent only four things can happen and three are bad. Win big or else.

Yeah, I know the Gators won the game Saturday, and I know they’re 9-1 and are ranked 6th in the BCS Poll. I also know winning any way you can is better than losing. I get all that.

But I also know everyone – and that includes Gator fans even if they refuse to admit it – thinks Florida is the nation’s most overrated team. And that includes Notre Dame.

The miracle finish that allowed the Gators to beat Louisiana-Lafayette 27-20 couldn’t hide Florida’s offensive flaws and should make Gator fans uneasy no matter whom the opponent is. Jacksonville State, a small school program, heads to Gainesville this week. Of course it will be a . . . well, maybe not. Then there’s a trip to Tallahassee to end the regular season.

How can Florida be so lacking in competent wide receivers and running backs in a state that produces dozens of big-time players at those positions every year? In an era of offensive shootouts, how can the Gators not find a quarterback who excels throwing the ball?

The Gators absolutely have one of the nation’s best defenses and I wouldn’t trade their special teams with anyone. Those strengths make Florida a top 15 team. All it needs to be a legitimate top 4 team is a competent offense, which it doesn’t have.

It’s no secret Coach Will Muschamp believes in building a program with defense and special team. That’s fine, but when a team is so limited on offense it leaves little margin for error. It also magnifies every turnover and penalty. The Gators have, for the most part, done well protecting the ball but they are among the most penalized teams in the nation.

I’m not suggesting Muschamp go to a “Fun ‘N Gun” offense but he has to concentrate more on recruiting “explosive” offensive players and then letting Offensive Coordinator Brent Pease use some imagination. The more Florida stays with such a 3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust offense, the less attractive it is to all of those hotshot wide receivers, running backs and quarterbacks playing high school ball in the state and elsewhere.

I’m I overreacting to Saturday’s homecoming game?

 Maybe. Probably.

 A win is a win but some wins are far more embarrassing than they are satisfying.  And some wins give a cloudy look to the future.


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