Florida was lucky enough last season to avoid serious injury and had the extra motivation of being desperate following the loss to Ole Miss. Now, their defensive leader has a bad wheel, anyone with a fever creates panic, their quarterback looked lost in his first game against a real defense, they called plays not to lose, and their first win against an SEC team was considered a letdown.
Before we get too far ahead, things could be worse. The New York Times called Florida's win, "A letdown," then turned this;
Around the same time that Meyer defended his team’s performance in the postgame news conference, a reminder came from about 3,000 miles away that things in Gainesville were not as bad as they seemed. The news of unranked Washington’s stunning 16-13 upset of No. 3 Southern California started popping up on reporters’ cellphones, as college football’s conscienceless monster — parity — produced September tears for another top team.
Yes, Florida is still alive, but the patient keeps asking if you think his head is warm and rubbing Purell all over his body.
Spikes' Achilles tendon issue should hold him out until at least the LSU game. That is not a fact, that is what I think should happen. The whole point of Florida's depth on defense is to cope with an injury like Spikes has. Dustin Doe performed admirably in substitution and Florida can use that band-aid until Spikes is 100%. Kentucky can jump up and bite UF in the ass, but it won't be because Doe is in for Spikes. As for the flu, no one has H1N1, but Florida is not out of the woods.
My biggest concern Saturday was that between Tebow looking like he had no idea what to do with the ball and Florida running an offense that looked more 2005 than 2009. I don't know if it was intentional or Monte Kiffin was in the heads of UF. Urban Meyer has never played a game to hold the lead, so I don't believe the idea that Florida was merely just taking time off the clock. I do think a combination of Tennessee's pass defense, plus Tebow not trusting his receivers, was the reason for only 19 attempts. But if Steve Addazio could not matchup to Monte, what would he do against Will Muschamp? If Tebow has to have his hand held, why even try a Oklahoma-style offense? If UF cannot trust their wides, why not put Moody in the slot more often, who is finally out of the doghouse? This game seemed to create more questions about the Gators' ability to win another title, instead of being another notch on the bedpost.
Hopefully, the patient isn't sick and the Gators can defeat Kentucky to head into the bye week with more momentum. They cannot assume victory as they did Saturday and watch their opponent's best unit blow up their offense that has won 2 of the last 3 National Championships. This offense can compete against elite defenses and coordinators, as long as the men in charge; Meyer, Addazio and Tebow, want to impose their will on the opponent.