Now that everyone has (hopefully) recovered from their anger-induced aneurysm....
The Gators have officially come back down to Earth. While the defense looked just as dominant as it has all season, the offensive deficiencies that had been a footnote in previous games took center stage in Jacksonville today. The offensive line had the worst performance of the year, failing to create holes for Mike Gillislee or protect Jeff Driskel for more than a few seconds, and the Gators utterly failed to protect the football, even when they needed to most. It was the definition of a weird, frustrating, awful game: the Gators' two offensive MVPs were the opposing quarterback and a tight end that fumbled the potential game-tying touchdown into the end zone.
Gator fans may console themselves with the knowledge that the team is 7-1 in a year where 8-4 was the expectation, but it hurts even more to know that the team was on the brink of something great. A win would have put them into the SEC Championship game and signaled that Will Muschamp's team is way ahead of schedule. Instead, this loss shows just how far the Gators still need to go under Coach Boom, at least on the offensive side of the ball. Brent Pease certainly has his work cut out for him.
The schedule certainly gets a little easier the next few weeks until the showdown in Tallahassee, but success in those games will do little to erase the bitter taste left by this one. The future of Gator football under Muschamp seems bright, but the current reality is ugly.