With a replenished depth chart and two solid options at quarterback-Florida looks to return to national prominence and bring the Gator swagger back to Gainesville.
“I think our depth will help us-we have more guys with more game experience that I think are more game-ready,” second year head coach Will Muschamp said.
Facing a difficult decision regarding who will be the starting quarterback, Muschamp is confident in both options: sophomores Jacoby Briskett and Jeff Driskel.
“I’ve seen a lot of leadership from both of them,” senior running back Mike Gillislee noted about the two. “No question about their character-either one coach Muschamp chooses-were gonna win either way.”
Although Florida has not won an SEC championship since 2008 there is clearly no lack of faith from the player’s going in to the 14-game 2012-2013 SEC.
“We are real confident- that’s the mojo going on in the locker room,” junior defensive end Lerentee McCray said. “It feels like forever and we feel like we should compete in the SEC every year but we haven’t in the past few years.”
All of the game film since that last SEC championship has been thoroughly analyzed, and the Gators feel as though they can now address the issues that are keeping them from the title.
“We had a lot of missed opportunities last year and we didn’t capitalize on them-that was the whole thing,” McCray said. “If you have a chance to make a play- you have to make it cause that can be the change in the ballgame.”
Leaning on the long-standing traditions that flow from the Florida football program, the players are ready to show that hope is not lost.
“We definitely have a lot of pride-that’s one thing you’re not gonna take away from us-106 years of pride,” McCray said. “We need to build on that legacy and get another championship.”
While content with the experience they have in some positions, the Gators will also look for younger guy’s to step up and help them win.
“The freshmen need to be ready to play,” senior linebacker Jon Bostic said. “We gave them a week or two but then treated them like upperclassmen.”
On Sep 8 the Gators will look within themselves for the will to win when they head to College Station to take on Texas A&M.
“It’s up to us, we’re the one’s playing the game,” Bostic said. “We understand the bar was set for us so we need to get that standard back to the way it was going.”