The 2014 season kicks off with the Idaho Vandals traveling to the Swamp for a large paycheck and a beatdown.
Most of the attention of Gator Nation will be given to the performance of the offense, which was simply wretched last season. New OC Kurt Roper has a healthy Jeff Driskel back to lead his version of the spread offense, which should play much better to Driskel’s strengths, and those of most of the offensive players.
It’s time to spread the ball around to finally let the WRs show their abilities – a lineup of Robinson, Dunbar, Fulwood, and Debose is pretty good. Mix in the zone scheme running game with Taylor and Jones to wear down an undermanned Idaho team. The rebuilt and hopefully improved O-Line should take advantage of the opportunity to start the process of developing chemistry. This is a great opportunity to work out some kinks with the base offense, and begin the process of rebuilding the confidence of this group. Idaho’s defense was terrible last year, giving up over 46 points a game – no reason not to approach that number this week.
The Idaho offense should not prove very challenging to the Gator defense, as they are over matched physically and in skill level. Hopefully the Florida offense is providing an early and expanding lead, providing the defense the opportunity to rest the starters after halftime and allow for a lot of guys to gain experience and develop depth. Plenty of young guys will get their chance to prove they belong in the rotation this week and next at various positions, especially on the D-Line and in the secondary.
This should be the first of two glorified scrimmages before the SEC season begins. As always, the mantra for these games is, “no injuries!”
Prediction: Florida 41 Idaho 10