What started as a cautiously exciting season for the Gators is slowing turning into a possible “one for the ages” when the planets align much like they did in 2006. 2nd year for a new coach bringing in a new system, key players from a highly ranked recruiting class providing much needed depth for some veteran players, big time defense setting the tone allowing the offense time to find itself in the new system, and an offense led by a senior playmaker, this year being Mike Gillislee and 2006 led by Chris Leak. The schedule certainly lends itself to championship aspirations if they can continue in the mold they have established so far.
I, like most Gator fans, was nervous coming into this season, even cautiously optimistic. I had expectations of an 8-4 record at best. After huge road wins at TAMU and UT with big second half comebacks and the even bigger home win yesterday against the behemoth that is LSU I have revised my expectations to a minimum of 9-3, and crossing my fingers, a run of the table 10-2 or 11-1 to make it to Atlanta against The Crimson Tide.
Our Defense started slow against quick passing teams TAMU, UT, and KY but have shown their mettle making halftime adjustments and holding our opponents to 13 2nd half points and NONE in the 4th quarter. Amazingly, they were able to shut down the inside run of LSU holding them to 45 yards only three more than Alabama in last year’s BCS title game. These are the only two teams able to hold down the LSU run game the last two years.
While the offense has yet to open up like many Gator fans would like, they have shown the ability to run the ball in the 2nd half, control the clock, and win the game in the 4th quarter something they failed at bigtime last year.
The old adage is offense wins games but defense wins championships. That was the formula for the 2006 Gators, and this team seems to be mirroring that. Hopefully, this run will continue on and with South Carolina at home, Georgia in Jax, and only FSU on the road, and, if successful, Alabama in the SEC Championship game these guys have the opportunity to make this season ONE FOR THE AGES!